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U3A • Steve Hall


THE MOORS and Christians festival is one of Alicante Province’s most colourful and spectacular fiestas with many different towns having their own special activities planned during the year. A date for your diary is October 1, 2011 for the magnificent annual Fiesta in Crevillente for which Torrevieja University of the Third Age have been invited as guests of the Ayuntamiento of Crevillente and the Association of Moors and Christians to witness the entry of the Moors,.
Formed in 1965 in honour of St Francis of Assisi, the Crevillente based Association works hard each year to present a pageant of spectacle and colour witnessed by residents and visitors alike, that portrays the history of the 13th century capture of the Moorish ruler Ra’is and his subsequent release by King James 1. In 1992 this Fiesta was awarded National Touristic recognition. The Association comprises 12 groups known as Comparsas, who dress up in all the splendour the era and enact battles and marches as the six Christian and six Moorish “sides”. Each year the Comparsas elect their own Captain and Queen or Sultana who lead their “sides” in the parades.
As well as participating in pageants and parades the Comparsas have meeting places known as Cuartels. Here families of the groups socialise together, ensuring that the original objective, apart from honouring St Francis, was to “ create a holiday, as an outlet for energies accumulated”, which today can be translated as “to have a good time” and the parades of all groups and ages in spectacular costumes accompanied by large numbers of musicians, certainly ensures.
For those planning on seeing the fiesta for themselves, the main events to watch out for happen on Saturday 17 September, 20.15, the Proclamation of Captains and Princesses in the City Auditorium, Sunday 18, 08.30 -13.00-hrs a Classic Car Meeting on the Rambla and on Friday 23 the action proper begins at 20.00 with the Inaugural parade to Town Hall, followed at 21.00 with the Inauguration of the Fiesta with the day concluding at 23.45 with an Informal competition parade (men only), from the Park Telmo Vela to Plaza de  la Constitución.
On Saturday 24 September at 19.30 they have the Carnival Parade from Avda. de Madrid to Plaza de la Constitución and on Sunday it’s time to eat because at 13.00 they have the Grand Hamburger in Municipal Park. The last weekend of the month has the Children’s parade from Sta. Trinidad to Plaza de la Constitución starting at 19.00 and at 21.00 the Pageant plus Battle & capture of the Moorish Ra’is in the Plaza de la Constitución.
Saturday 1 October is the day when many of the U3A’s four hundred members will be out in force witnessing for themselves the Informal dress parades around town centre between 11.00 to13.00 but more specifically at 18.30 for the Entry of the Moors and parade from Sta. Tomás to Plaza de la Constitución. On Sunday from11.00 to13.00 there are more Informal dress parades around the town centre and at 18.30 the Entry of the Christians and parade from Sta. Tomás to the Plaza de la Constitución
On Monday 3 October, the final two days of the fiestas, if you still have any energy left, consist of at18.30 a Pageant featuring the Battle & release of the Moorish Ra’is - Plaza de la Constitución with the fiesta coming to an end on Tuesday 4 October starting at 10.30 with Floral offering (women only) at Park Telmo Vela to Plaza de la Constitución, at 20.00 there is the Solemn Procession from Stma. Trinidad to Plaza de la Constitución with the event coming to a close with the Fiesta hymn & fireworks.


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