Tonight, at the stroke of midnight, this year's Feria de Abril kicks off officially, when the lights on the Portada (entrance arch) are switched on - the alumbrao.
For those who have never been, but would like to experience this amazing spring fair, arriving at that massive entrance arch, surrounded by the little striped casetas, can be intimidating. All the dark-haired women in their brightly-coloured spotty dresses, tossing their hair and frills as they dance Sevillanas, hands raised in the air, hands twirling. It can make you feel like an outsider.
So this year, the Ayuntamiento are offering guided tours of the Real de la Feria (fair ground). These visits, which will last about an hour in groups of 25, will explain to visitors the history of the Feria, and how the entire temporary city is constructed for one week's use each year.
The tour will finish up at the Caseta de Fiestas Mayores, where each person will be given a free glass of manzanilla (dry sherry).
The tours leave from the Information Point by the entrance, at2pm, 3.30pm, 5pm, and 6.30pm, from Tuesday to Sunday.
It is also useful to know which are the public casetas, where anyone can walk in and order a drink and some food, or have a dance. So here's a list. Beware - they can get rowdy at night, so either avoid, or be sure you have your wits about you, and make a fast exit at the first sign of trouble.
Bienvenida, 10 – UGT
Bienvenida, 79 – PSOE Andalucía
Bienvenida, 97 – Distrito Casco Antiguo
Costillares, 10 – Área de Fiestas Mayores
Costillares , 22 – Distrito Nervión- San Pablo
Costillares, 77 – “La de to er mundo”
Costillares, 82 – La Esmeralda
Curro Romero, 28 – Pueblo de Sevilla
Curro Romero, 29 – USO
I. Sánchez Mejías, 56 – A. CF. S. Fernando
I. Sánchez Mejías, 61 – Distrito Sur
Joselito El Gallo, 109- Hermandades del Trabajo
Juan Belmonte, 196 – Partido Andalucista
Pascual Márquez, 9 – La Pecera
Pascual Márquez, 66 – PP de Sevilla
Pascual Márquez, 81 – CCOO. Sevilla
Pascual Márquez, 85 – Distrito Macarena
Pascual Márquez, 153 – Distrito Triana
Pascual Márquez, 215 – Distrito Este
Cerca de las Casas del Terror, Los Formalitos.
1.- Caseta Municipal
2.- Policía Local
3.- Niños perdidos (Lost children)
This year, the Metro is running 24 hours a day, from tomorrow morning, until the early hours of next Sunday night/Monday morning. There is also a good bus service, with stops for various lines right outside the entrance. See Metro de Sevilla and TUSSAM for more details.
For the guided tours, see the official Seville Tourism page.