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The anniversary, which began on May 15, 2022, has served to remember and disseminate his figure, works, actions and legacy

Benidorm ends this Sunday 'Pedro Zaragoza Orts Year' with a fireworks in Elche Park

12 May 2023
Benidorm finaliza este domingo el ‘Año Pedro Zaragoza Orts’ con una traca en el Parque de Elche

This coming Sunday Benidorm City Council will put an end to 'Pedro Zaragoza Orts Year' that was instituted on the occasion of the centenary of his birth and that has lasted from May 15, 2022, until May 14 of this year. The anniversary has served to remember and disseminate the figure of the local politician, his works, actions, and legacy.

Thus, at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday the 14th, fireworks will be fired in Elche Park, at a point close to the fountain of this enclosure where the stone that commemorates the bringing of water to the city is located. An act that will serve as a tribute to Pedro Zaragoza, who used to end his most outstanding acts with the firing of a firecracker.

Throughout this year that is now ending, the City Council and various institutions have held events for this reason, which began on May 15 of last year -the day he would have turned 100- with the commemoration of that 'brought from the water ' to Benidorm. It was a "simple and very symbolic" act, as described by the mayor Toni Pérez, which consisted of placing another stone at Plaza de la Hispanidad with the inscription "A la ilusión de un pueblo", in clear analogy with the one that Pedro Zaragoza placed it in the Elche Park on February 28, 1960, with the legend 'De ilusión también se vive'.

On May 30, a round table was also held under the title ' Y Benidorm despertó: Pedro Zaragoza Orts' organized by the Department of Culture and Frax Foundation, which has dedicated several conferences to him. Likewise, on September 23, the exhibition by the artist Malagón was inaugurated with 19 illustrations, each of which included a chapter or aspect of his figure, with texts by Albert Alcaraz.

Among the conferences organized stands out one led by architects that dealt with 'The architecture of the General Plan of 1956' in which the advantages of that General Plan were exposed, highlighting the great vision of the future of Zaragoza.

Pedro Zaragoza Orts chair of the University of Alicante also joined the commemorative events, announcing the creation of a website that would collect studies, articles, and research on Pedro Zaragoza and Benidorm.

And Benidorm Opinion Club also organized a tribute talk with the title 'Pedro Zaragoza Orts. Mayor of Benidorm ’which was given by his son Francisco Zaragoza in which he elaborated on lesser-known aspects of his father.

The favorite son of Benidorm, the figure and performance of Pedro Zaragoza were key to the configuration of modern Benidorm, mainly in tourism and urban areas. He was also a great defender of the region and the province, as well as a fundamental defender of municipalism and defender of the financing of tourist municipalities.

Pedro Zaragoza was born on May 15, 1922, in Benidorm. After training in Alicante and  Barcelona Nautical School, he developed various jobs as a commercial traveler and in the business field. After the death of his father, he returned to Benidorm as director of  Caja de Ahorros del Sureste de España, becoming Mayor on December 10, 1950, and holding office until the summer of 1966.

Among the most outstanding events of his management is the bringing of drinking water to Benidorm or carrying out a General Urban Planning Plan that defined a risky, futuristic, and innovative urban planning concept and that was a model for all tourist municipalities in Spain when defending the beaches like no other point on the Mediterranean coast. He also knew how to find and develop great promotion formulas and devise a highly effective form of direct marketing.

He was not opposed to the use of the bikini on beaches and supported the celebration of a Song Festival that attracted national and international attention and is still a successful benchmark today. Once his political stage ended, he graduated in Law, specializing in urban planning, and later graduated in Tourism, being an honorary professor at the School of Tourism. In the last stretch of his life, he also began studying journalism. Probably, he is the only Spaniard in possession of gold, silver, and bronze Medals of Tourism Merit.