Sunday 3rd October 2021 – ÁLVARO MONFORT with Mike Smith
The Fogueres de Sant Joan restarted the pulse of fiesta after the enforced break due to the decision not to celebrate adapted versions of fiestas during the pandemic that are significant for their uniqueness, especially for the young people, the protagonists – the quintos, who want to experience their special moment to the full and not with limitations.
This has led to the unusual situation in which, assuming the epidemiological situation will allow it, the 2022 edition of the Fogueres de Sant Joan, arguably the biggest party of the year in Xàbia, will be even bigger, with three ‘quintàs’ joining together to give it the potential to be one special and unique occasion: Quintà 2020 (who elected their positions in October 2019), Quintà 2021 and Quintà 2022, a total of 170 young people who will lead the celebrations. And councillor Kika Mata (Fiestas) has assured that her department is working hard with the Fogueres Commission so that, when the time comes, each ‘quintà’ will have a prominent place during the celebrations.
These young people have seen their special year of celebration sorely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. This moment would normally coincide with the end of a stage in their personal development and the beginning of another, the coming of age, and a plausible change in life if they decided to leave Xàbia to study or work, a farewell to the town, if you will. Sadly, many of those who signed up to live this special moment in 2020 and 2021 have found themselves in a situation in which the dates, the time and the money prevent them from participating.
Thus, the Fogueres Commission, a dedicated group of volunteers charged with organising the celebrations each year, has set it sights on 2022 to bring the three groups together and make it a special event. And the first act has been the election of the prime representatives of Quintà 2021 and 2022 on the evening of Saturday 2nd October.
After the elections, which took place in a controlled environment earlier in the day under observation from a notary, the evening began with the presentation of Quintà 2021, the young people taking to the stage created inside the municipal sports hall in the port. As required by the current health protocols, attendance was limited, face masks were obligatory and there was no bar selling alcohol, only water, for the evening was quite sweltering. The youngsters removed the masks to take the stage so that the moment felt as normal as possible, and then, after having their photo taken they put those masks back on.
After an intermission, during which young people from Xàbia linked to the world of fashion and aesthetics, such as fashion designer Rubén Bisquert, Ivan Quiroga, manager of the Charlie&O hairdressers and makeup artist María Sobrino.
The second part of the presentation was the one that was most anticipated, the announcement of the main representatives of the Quintà 2021 “La Desastrà”. First of all, the two presidents were announced to great cheers from their peers: Jorge Serra Hernan and María Lieher Olivares and they took the stage to be welcomed into this special entourage by their counterparts in Quintà 2020. And then, the big moment. With great applause and cheers from the audience, Nara Rodríguez Sapena was announced as Queen 2021 with Andrea Ortuño Torres as First Lady of Honour and Aroa Sánchez Lora as Second Lady of Honour. Nara was president of the Junior Commission in 2016 whilst Andrea Ortuño is the sister of Marta Ortuño, Queen 2020, handing the Ortuño-Torres family some double joy at having two of the highest representatives of Les Fogueres de Xàbia at home, which is undoubtedly a historical moment.
Part of the collection of the tickets has been allocated to the solidarity work carried out by Cáritas Nuestra Señora de Loreto and Cáritas San Bartolomé.