Former Huddersfield gymnast and pub landlord Brian Hayhurst and his wife Elaine are ex-pats who have lived just outside Fuengirola on the Costa del Sol for 20 years. He writes every fortnight for Huddersfield Hub.

Around this time of year up and down the entire coast of Southern Spain and beyond will soon begin the annual fairs, when each village, town or city will come to a standstill as parades, fairs and family activities take over.

The annual ferias began, it seems, in Sevilla in 1846 – more of an agricultural gathering then, but it grew into a sumptuous festive affair.

Fuengirola, one of the most popular tourist spots on the Costa, has always celebrated in October but another major event which attracts over a million people here is the Fuengirola International Culture Fair, when over 30 countries come together in colourful costumes.

Born in 1994 the fair has grown annually as each country offers traditional dance, music and typical gastronomy for families from far and wide.

This five-day event is a fun-filled feast of entertainment – a multi-cultural extravaganza, which started on Thursday when the dozens of ‘Casetas’ (club bars), along the main fair ground, are always packed with revellers – some open till 4am!

Revellers enjoy cultural shows, acrobats and – of course – drinks from each country, including for the first time, Sweden and Romania.

Great Britain always features well with, for example, local tribute bands like ‘Revival’ (pictured above) a popular group of talented musicians who for 15 years have played virtually all the pop classics throughout the region.

They performed a tribute to The Beatles amid some ingenious costumes, as typical pub grub was being served.

A British parade on the opening day, which took place on the 27th, has been revived by a group led by Alan Boardman, (pictured below central as 007).

Alan, who is a relentless charity fundraiser, has now personally topped 10,000€ for numerous needy groups with his walking tours of Mijas, quizzes etc.

Alan said: “The GB Parade started outside Fuengirola Town Hall (who are sponsors) and toured with music accompaniment, through the town centre and on to the Feria Ground.

“We had dozens of people dressed in flamboyant costumes along with some vintage British vehicles and carriages.”

Finally, a few random thoughts:

  • There are very few Coronation celebrations being planned or advertised here at the moment.
  • Tourism authorities are warning holidaymakers to expect long queues at passport controls due to staff shortages at many Spanish airports, as the expected deluge of passengers arrive.
  • Energy operators OMIE have said the average cost of electricity throughout the Spanish peninsular should now drop 30%.
  • Still no guidelines on saving water here yet, as the reservoirs dry up. And farmers in the north have an added problem with millions of starving rabbits. With a lack of grass and water the plague of rabbits are destroying crops.
  • Anyone coming over from sunny West Yorkshire are well advised to bring plenty of suncream, as the temperatures in Spain and across Europe are going to be hovering around 38C! It’s going to be brutal.

I cannot let the opportunity go by without congratulating the incredible young gymnastics teams representing GB at the European Championships last week in Turkey.

Their unprecedented haul of medals once again confirms Britain as world leaders in this complex, demanding sport.

And a well-deserved presentation to a leading Huddersfield trampoline coach, Barry Peaker, who this week received the ‘Lifetime Contribution to Gymnastics Award’ from British Gymnastics.

READ MORE: Catch up on Brian’s previous blogs HERE