Every year, on the first weekend in September, Manilva celebrates its annual grape harvest, known as Vendimia and it’s yet another huge party. This festival was founded in the early ’60s and is a very important part of the local calendar, attracting visitors from all across the region. Every year a “grape vat” is constructed in the Calle Mar and demolished after the festival…
This year the event takes place on the weekend of the 1st and 2nd of September.
The “official” programme has yet to be confirmed. (This is Spain – all very last minute…) but from past experience – this will be my 9th Vendimia – its pretty much the same format each year.
At 8am (yes, 8am!!) on the Saturday, rockets are let off as is traditional in most Spanish fiestas and local town band parade through the street. In the afternoon around 5pm, there is a Mass, followed by a procession where the virgin is carried from the Santa Ana church to the main street (Calle Mar) where she is presented with an offering of this season’s grapes. This is followed by a competition for the best bunch of grapes from the local vineyards!
There is a real party atmosphere, with all the bars in the main street opening up onto the street. The party really begins, however at around 10pm when there is live music and dancing- from experience of past years there is usually a clear division – top end of the street is slightly more sedate and traditional for the more mature members of the community and the lower end of the street is a pumping disco for the teenagers!!
The fiesta continues on Sunday at midday (allowing you to recover from Saturday!) There is more live music and dancing and plenty of food and drink throughout the afternoon and evening. There are also usually a few stalls selling various bits and pieces too.
Later in the afternoon, normally around 5pm, there is a procession of horses and riders, all dressed in traditional costume, riding through the streets, followed at about 7pm by the ceremonial first treading of the grapes.
Monday is a local bank holiday which means we can all recover!!
By the way, Parking can be a bit of a nightmare. Best to try to get into the multi storey car park under the music school. I live in Manilva and we don’t go out in the car all weekend – why would we when there’s a huge party right on our doorstep, but apart from that, you come out of Manilva and you have a really hard job getting back in…..
Apart from that, its great fun, come and join in.
Midday sees the inauguration of the Day Feria with music, dancing and Later in the afternoon at a around 5 pm there is a procession of riders through the streets, followed by at around 7pm the ceremonial first treading of the grapes and a chance to sample the first ‘mosto’ grape juice of the season.