On Saturday the offering to the fallen in the sea is celebrated and on Sunday the traditional seafaring procession
Fiestas del Carmen begin with the proclamation by Vicenta Pérez Bayona
The celebrations will close with a verse to the Virgin recited by the Sailor of Honor, Sofía Fuster Manchón
After two years with a very reduced program of events due to the pandemic, Benidorm once again fully celebrates one of the most deeply rooted festivals in the city, those dedicated to the Virgen del Carmen.
Last night, the festivities began with the reading of the proclamation, on this occasion by Vicenta Pérez Bayona, 'Cuqui', who brought together more than a hundred people in Plaça de la Senyoria, including the mayor, Tony Perez; the mayor of Fiestas, Jesús Carrobles; the Provincial Deputy for Architecture, José Ramón González de Zárate; members of the Municipal Corporation; the Queens of the Festes Majors Patronals, Aila Merenciano and Chloe d'Hebboudt, and their courts of honor; the president of the Commission, José Vicente Fuster; representatives of the Association of Penyes Verge del Sofratge; the Sailor of Honor of 2022, Sofía Fuster Manchón, and her predecessor, Laura Pascual Llambrich; the patron saint of Benidorm, José Martínez, and the president of the Fiestas del Carmen, Ginés Alvarado.
A proclamation in which 'Cuqui' highlighted that "Benidorm is a sailor on all four sides", and in which he extolled the figure of the people of Benidorm who sailed around the world and those who set the most important traps in the Mediterranean. Benidormenses, he stressed, are "known for their honesty and their good work."
The town crier also recalled the day-to-day life of the fishermen of the past Benidorm, "brave men who mastered all the arts" and who worked with "artisanal boats"; and she referred to the link that the city maintains today with the sea through water sports, at which time she highlighted the work of the rowing section of Anémona.
On a more personal level, Vicenta Pérez Bayona evoked some passages from her childhood, such as the landscape that La Cala had in those years or the filming of 'Alba de América' Author of the verse that every year, since 1988, the Marinera de Honoring the Virgen del Carmen at the end of the procession through the bay of Benidorm, 'Cuqui' stressed his devotion to the patron saint of the sea, whom he asked to "protect our beaches, our sun and all of Benidorm".
Precisely to that devotion of 'Cuqui' for the Virgen del Carmen and the Virgen del Sufragio, the mayor mentioned, who assured that the town crier "is one of those women who has lived the Benidorm of yesterday, who lives intensely the Benidorm of today and that will live with the same intensity also in the future”.
After applauding the homage to the men of the sea made by the town crier, Toni Pérez highlighted the choice of Plaça de la Senyoria as this act. A square that gathers "the essence of a seafaring town" and that was designed by Admiral Julio Guillén Tato, whose 50th anniversary of his death and 125 of his birth are celebrated that year.
In his speech, the mayor thanked the Fiestas del Carmen commission "for having worked with a lot of strength, will and effort to carry out something that is very important for us emotionally: our festivities", even more so after two years. of pandemic.
Prior to the proclamation, a mass in honour of the Virgen del Carmen was celebrated in the church of Sant Jaume i Santa Ana, sung by the Associació Cultural i Recreativa La Barqueta. During the service, the Sailor of Honor of 2019 delivered the scapular accrediting the position to her successor.
After the opening day of these celebrations, the Fiestas del Carmen continue tomorrow, Friday, with a festival with live music on the Paseo de Colón starting at 8:00 p.m. On Saturday, the 16th, at noon a bar will be installed on the same Paseo, from where at 6:30 p.m. the official delegation will depart for the parish of Carmen to celebrate a Mass in honour of the patron saint of sailors. After mass, the traditional pilgrimage will begin, culminating in the Plaça de la Senyoria with the offering to those who fell at sea. On the same Saturday, starting at 9:00 p.m., there will be a festival at the Paseo de Colón.
Already on Sunday, around 8:00 p.m., the traditional seafaring procession will take place through the waters of the bay of Benidorm, in which around a dozen boats participate. "An appointment - Carrobles recalled -, which year after year arouses the interest and curiosity of hundreds of residents and tourists, who enthusiastically follow the route of this procession from the sea or from the vicinity of the port breakwater and the Castell".
Once the procession is over, this year's Marinera de Honor will recite the verse to the Virgen del Carmen. The celebrations will end with the shooting of fireworks on Jaime I avenue. On the occasion of this pyrotechnic act, between 4:00 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. approximately, the section of Jaime I between the Uruguay street roundabout and Armada Española and San Pedro street will remain closed to traffic. This traffic cut will be extended to the intersections with Marqués de Comillas and Panamá street during the moments before the fireworks.