Looking forward to a sunny Feria de Sevilla

Tonight Seville's biggest party of the year kicks off: the Feria de Abril (April Fair), so-called because it always takes place in April, three weeks after Semana Santa. After that event was dogged by rain, he weather looks set to be fine, with temperatures climbing into the 30s.
The stars of the show are threefold: the people themselves - women dress in spotty flamenca frocks of all colour and cut, accessorised with shawl, flower and jewellery, or the elegant amazona suit - a cropped jacket with long skirt; men wear the male version - cropped jacket with tight-fitting trousers, both with a wide-brimmed cordobes hat.

Then the horses - gleaming Arabs, prancing and snorting with a couple seated atop- the lady side-saddled - or pom-pommed mulas pulling a shiny carriage. The horse-drawn vehicles are a sight to behold, with their gold paint, family crests and liveried drivers. The Feria is all about tradition, and little has changed in the dress, eating and drinking, and dancing, in decades.
* This year the Feria is expected to bring in 600 million euros.
* The total area of the recinto (fairground) is 275,000 m2, of which 125,000 in Calle de Infierno, the amusement park. It took 400 workers 150,000 hours to prepare the recinto.
* There are 1,049 casetas (over half are owned by families), and 1,400 carriages will take part in the procession tomorrow afternoon.
* Energy consumption is equivalent to a town of 40,000 people.
* The portada (entrance arch), which this year is based on Plaza de España, is 43m high and 50m wide, is illuminated by 20,000 light bulbs, and cost 500,000 euros.
* The official Ayuntamiento de Sevilla Feria app is available on iTunes and Android. You can search for casetas by name or street, check how full the car parks are, find your car, and
* Free guided tours are being offered for a second year. They leave at 3.30pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm, starting from the information desk by the portada, and finishing at the one in calle Costillares.
For more information, see our section on the Seville Feria.
Blog published on 15 April 2013