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As always, the 'bous al mar' and popular baret open the celebrations

Tuesday 13th August 2014

javeamigos.com | JAVEA · PORT FIESTA

The organising committee of the Fiestas Mare de Déu del Loreto - commonly known as the port fiestas - has published its official programme for the 2014 celebration, a book of more than 100 pages of cultural content which as always includes a historical account of life in the port and in Jávea in general. The book's cover is illustrated with a photograph of the iconic firework display that brings the two week festivities to an end. This image was chosen many months ago but it has now become a symbol of the struggle for survival of this popular aquatic pyrotechnical show which has closed the fiestas for more than 40 years.

As reported last week (link), the Ministry of Infrastructure has refused permission for the use of the northern harbour wall for the launching of the firework display based on a 2014 contingency plan which prohibits pyrotechnic displays within 500m of a designated green zone such as that on the Cabo San Antonio.  The traditional launch zone is inside this separation zone by some 40m and it was for this reason that the fireworks which brought an end to the Moors and Christians celebrations last month were moved at the last minute to rocky coastline close to the Triana Bridge.

Mayor José Chulvi said that the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia is waiting for a response from port authority to an appeal which was lodged last Friday to receive the necessary authorisation to stage the firework display. He explained that the appeal is based on the fact that the launch zone is not located close to any potential risk and that the display has continued for more than 40 years without incident. In addition, the Ayuntamiento has proposed extra security measures, including the damping down of the area closest to the launch site, the modification of the angle of the launch tubes to direct the trajectory of the display more over the sea and extra fire-fighting units from the Bomberos and Protección Civil.

He finished with the opinion that the professionals who design and launch the display is one of the safest pyrotechnical company in the Comunidad Valenciana who guarantee security against potential fire risk. (The same company produced the stunning firework display which brought June's Sant Joan festivities to a conclusion; the launch zone was within the wooded area of the Parque Montaner and there were no recorded incidents of fire.) However, he added that neither the Ayuntamiento de Xàbia nor the organising committee of the Fiestas Mare de Déu del Loreto "would consider an activity that threatens the land and vegetation heritage that we cherish" and said that the display would also be conditional on favourable weather conditions.

As for the location of the launch zone, both the chairman of the organising committee Juan José García and councillor Juan Ortolá (Fiestas) prefer not to assess until there is no choice but to relocate. It is the intention that the firework display of Loreto will be launched from the outer harbour wall and any other location would spoil what Ortolá described as "a display that is iconic and brings many people from outside of Jávea to come and enjoy it."

With much talk about the fate of the firework display, it is easy to forget that the event brings an end to more than two weeks of celebrations in the port of Jávea which have taken many months to organise. This year's programme opens on Saturday 23rd August and ends as always on September 8th - this year it is on a Monday - which is a date that for many people draws a line under the hectic high season of summer. The programme, which can be viewed here, includes several new features such as a photography competition of fiesta-themed images and a wine-tasting event hosted by local winemaker and sommelier Graciela Pena Valente in collaboration with sommelier RaÚl Caselles from Bodega Miguel. These new features complement the classics such as the 'bous al mar' with its hugely successful bar, the float parade, the stunning 'correfocs', the fellowship dinners and the processions which honour Santísimo Cristo del Mar and Mare de Déu del Loreto.

Organising representative José Erades also highlighted the blood donation campaign in memory of Dionís Henarejos (Ed: it should be noted that anyone regardless of nationality who spend at least twelve months in the United Kingdom between 1980 and 1996 are prohibited from giving blood due to the risk of infection from CJD.) Erades also highlighted the quality of the official book with many contributions and photographs as well as texts in honour of the recently deceased Paco Bueno who was chairman of the organisation committee for 12 years. Current chairman Juan José García thanked all the collaborators who have allowed the celebrations to take place and invites everyone not only from Jávea but from across the Marina Alta region to share the festivities.

For more information about the Festes Mare de Déu del Loreto, click here.

For a programme and description of the 2014 festivities, click here.

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