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The long and emotion ceremony kicks off the preparations for next June's festivities

Sunday 21st October 2018

JAVEA NEWS | Fogueres 2019 - Inés Domenech Fontjaveamigos.com | Fogueres 2019 - Julía Badanes Catalá

Inés Domenech Font and Julía Badanes Catalá have been elected as Queens for the 2019 edition of the Fogueres de Sant Joan de Xàbia in a long and emotional ceremony at the Palau d'Esports 'Miguel Buigues' on Saturday night. The gala effectively kicks off the preparations for the festivities next summer, arguably the biggest party of the year in Xàbia which will be celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2019, with the main representatives elected by their peers and read out by the current holders of the respective positions, although their own responsibilities will continue until the Proclamation ceremony at the beginning of next June.

The sports centre, normally reserved for basketball, gymnastics, handball and other sports, was converted into a special gala venue for this special annual event. Parents, family and friends claimed every available seat to enjoy the long and emotional ceremony which would include an introduction to those who would make up the Junior Commission and Quintà 2019, a fashion show featuring garments available from local shops Insieme and Maribal Gilabert with hair styled by Cecilia Diéz plus some wonderful performances from the Club Xàbia rhythmic gymnastics team as well as Natalia Cholbi, national rhythmic gymnast.

In one corner of the hall, the voting took place for the positions of Junior Commission and Quintà 2019 presidents, one boy and one girl each,and the big one: the Regina Fogueres, the queen. It is always a serious business. Some don't want the responsibility, content to enjoy the festivities without ties. Others see it as a valuable addition to their CV, to be a representative of their own, to take on the important role of ambassador across the region. Commission members controlled the voting as it would be as national or regional elections. Names were checked before votes were cast. Fingers were crossed in some corners.

Whilst the voting took place, the ceremony began in usual fashion with the introduction of the candidates for the position of Regina Infantil de la Foguera · the Junior Queen · who each placed their names in the special voting box positioned on the front of the stage. Afterwards it was the turn of the Junior Commission to be introduced in pairs, having just voted for their presidents, before the members of Quintà 2019 took to the stage. Dressed in their finest, girls balancing on heels with immaculate make-up, boys picking awkwardly at top buttons and ties and sporting haircuts shaved to the perfect millimetre, participation is seen as a major milestone, a big step in their lives. Nervous parents looked proudly upon their children as they take the stage, no doubt wondering where all the year had gone for their babies are on the cusp of adulthood. Several generations applauded each pair as they paraded along the walkway. It's a big thing, what being part of Xàbia is all about.

After the fashion show and gymnastic performances, the tension listed a notch as the results had been counted and the holders of the new positions had been chosen. The noise in the hall rose and the excitement of the young people was just about kept in check by the commission volunteers. The 2018 representatives took the stage to generous applause from everyone for they had served well in the past year. They shuffled nervously. They wouldn't be handing over the reins of power just yet; that would happen next June. But it was still an emotional moment that would see their time as prime representatives numbered.

First of all, the Junior Commission presidents were announced with Andrea López Lillo and Marc Gavilà Torres reading out the names of María Fresneda Buigues and Moisés Cardona Puig as their replacements for 2019. And then the tension rose another notch as it was time to find out who will be the Junior Queen and her ladies-in-waiting for 2019. With current Second Dama Isabella Lucía Barnes away in the UK, current Primer Dama Ainara Hope Collinson picked out two names from box: Arantxa Sart Mata would be the new Segona Dama and Amaia Fresneda Buigues, Primer Dama. And then current queen Gisela Fernández Silva walked slowly to the box and, after a bit of a theatrical pause, pulled out a piece of paper, unfolded it and read out the name of Julía Badenes Catalá as Regina Infantil for 2019, twenty years after her mother Ana represented Xàbia as Regina Fogueres.

The noise rose as it was the term of the Quintà 2019. Rubén Bisquert Ferrer and Itziar Espasa Lillo announced Israel Aguilar Parrilla and Marina Mosquera Alberola as their replacements for 2019. Segona Dama Carmen Cholbi Mulet read out María Signes Font whilst Primer Dama Laura Ros Berrut announced Marina Sobrino Buigues as their replacements. And then the big one - who would be Regina 2019? Marta Arnal Forné took centre stage, slowly opened the envelope - and announced Inés Domenech Font as the queen for 2019. The hall rose in standing ovation as the Fogueres de Xàbia hymn was played whilst she took to the stage, welcome by mayor José Chulvi and councillor Antonio Miragall (Fiestas).

The evening finished with a party which continued into the early hours.


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