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FOGUERES 2018: MARTA ARNAL AND GISELA FERNÁNDEZ CROWNED QUEENS
Rain stopped play on Saturday evening and force re-schedule

Tuesday 12th June 2018

JAVEA NEWS | Fogueres 2018

Marta Arnal and Gisela Fernández have been crowned queens of the Fogueres de Sant Joan de Xàbia 2018 in the traditional proclamation ceremonies and will be the primary representatives of Xàbia for the next twelve months. However the excitement of the beginning of the biggest fiestas in town had to be delayed some 24 hours after rain forced the suspension of the ceremony for the Quintà 2018 'L'Esclafit Festa i Enfit' on Saturday evening and the organisers had to quickly re-schedule both ceremonies on the same day for the first time for a couple of years. But the disappointment didn't dampen the enthusiasm of the young people for their special moment, essentially their coming of age, who now look forward to ten days of intense party starting this Thursday 14th June.

The rain had threatened all Saturday and finally began to fall in sporadic showers as the sun dipped below the horizon. However the organisers and the quintà 2018 appeared keen that show had to go on and gathered as scheduled in the heart of the historic centre outside the Ayuntamiento, inside which the queens of 2017 and 2018 were honoured by mayor José Chulvi and the council members. At 10.30pm the pairs began the short walk to the main square where a stunning stage had been created for the ceremony. At 10.32pm it began to rain again. And it was dirty rain, huge drops bringing down the dust that had been lying suspended in the atmosphere to turn the white chairs a dirty brown. As the rain continued to fall, the organisers went through the motions to get the ceremony started as the audience of proud parents, family and friends wiped down chairs and sheltered under umbrellas but it soon became apparent that it just couldn't happen and the announcement that the show would have to be postponed until the following day was welcomed with genuine warm applause.

The following day broke clear and sunny. The children's ceremony has been brought forward by two hours so by the time the youngsters gathered outside the town hall at 5.00pm the strong late afternoon sun meant that shade became a popular premium. Almost 200 children paraded to the main square, bathed in sunshine and with little shade. Umbrellas were deployed for a different purpose this time; others had to make do with newspapers draped across the head. The youngsters were presented to proud parents, family and friends, waving furiously as they arrived on stage and then gawping in genuine surprise as they were handed bouquets of sweets. There were tears as the 2017 queen Esther Devesa, flanked by her ladies-in-waiting Arantxa Ribes and María Tur, gave a confident speech to thank everyone for supporting her during her time in office which she described as an amazing experience. The outgoing junior commission presidents Adriana Fernández and Luis Font also gave a joint emotional speech to acknowledge their fantastic year. In their place came Andrea López and Marc Gavilà who were then followed by this year's ladies-in-waiting Anaia Hope and Isabela Barnes. But the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for the 2018 Children's Fogueres Queen Gisela Fernández who strode confidently down the central aisle accompanied by the giant of Joanaina, a figure of folklore from Teulada who decided to visit Xàbia to extend her wishes on the children. The new queen was met by mayor José Chulvi who escorted her to the top of the stage to be welcomed by the packed audience.

At 8.30pm it was 'take two' for the Quintà 2018 as they paraded from the church square to the main square. The main ceremony opened with actress Inma Rodríguez playing the part of a prodigal daughter returning to Xàbia to seek out her roots which are shared with many families in the town. In the centre of the stage was a stunning representation of the famous Casa de Bolufer which sits opposite the church in the centre of the old town and the story-teller returns to meet her parents and the rest of the family played by the dancers of the Grup de Danses Portitxol. And then the ceremony began.

As with the children's ceremony, the members of Quintà 2018 were introduced to the audience, their images played out on special moving postcards on giant screens at the rear of the stage. 2018 presidents Itziar Espasa and Rubén Bisquert took their place to welcome their colleagues before it was the turn of the ladies-in-waiting Laura Ros and Carmen Cholbi to take the stage. And then, accompanied by fireworks bursting colourfully into the dark clear sky, Fogueres Queen 2018 Marta Arnal appeared on the balcony of the 'Casa del Bolufer' to great applause and with the triumphant pasadoble of 'Fogueres' playing from the speakers. As she emerged from the main door, she was met by mayor José Chulvi and the dancing Moma de Xàbia. Fogueres Queen 2017 Belén Fliquete, accompanied by her ladies-in-waiting Marina Tiscar and Laura Caselles, gave an emotional speech to bring her own tenure to an end as did Quintà 2017 presidents Paula Vallés and Francesc Tent at the beginning of the ceremony. And, after representatives from other municipalities and fiestas commissions paid their respects and speeches from mayor José Chulvi, councillor Antonio Miragall (Fiestas) and Commission representative Lola Ivars, the ceremony was brought to an end with fireworks and then live music from La Tribu.

Click here for the full programme for Fogueres de Sant Joan de Xàbia.




 

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