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Monday 22nd April 2013

javeamigos.com | JAVEA: FERIA DE LES COQUES

There was plenty of interest in the first ever "Feria de les Coques de Xàbia" which took place over the weekend of April 20th / 21st and, whilst offering some of the best local cuisine, allowed a rare chance to take a closer look at the restored Riurau d'Arnauda located amongst the pine trees of the Parque Montaner on the edge of the historic centre. The doors opened early on Saturday morning and, whilst they remained so, there was a steady stream of visitors passing through them to enjoy some great food provided by a selection of bars, restaurants and hotels from across the town as well as a handful from beyond. Accompanying the eating and drinking was a full programme of entertainment, including traditional music and dancing, as well as complementary activities such as superb display of lace-making and a special competition for local wines.

Although it was overcast for much of the day, Saturday still saw plenty of interest, attracting plenty of people up the steep paths to the riurau and the special stalls that had been set up next to it. The weekend was officially opened with a short parade of the large heads of the Nanos de Xàbia, courtesy of the excellent Grup de Danses Portitxol who then gave a short performance of traditional dancing which was thoroughly enjoyed by those present. Later in the afternoon, the children were able to enjoy some special activities, including a short zip-line erected by the CEX Xàbia between two of the tall pine trees in the park as the parents enjoyed some of the excellent food and wine that was being offered from the stalls. As light began to fall, the music was provided by the Xirimitab's who gave two performances throughout the evening.

The sun shone brightly for the second day in which the ladies from the Asociación de Amas de Casa de Jávea - the town's housewives' association - gave a complete and very popular demonstration on the preparation of 'cocas' and 'empanadillas' before they were cooked in a traditional wood oven that had recently been moved and restored next to the riurau. At the same time, a long table stretched the length of the building at which many extremely skilled lace-makers from Jávea and beyond demonstrated their talent in creating delicate pieces of lace and it is no wonder that hand-crafted items can attract high prices for the time and dedication needed to create them should certainly be rewarded.

As the musicians of the Banda de Música de Xàbia played an array of well-known festive tunes which had people swaying and tapping their feet, a few experienced tasters sat quietly to score a selection of locally-produced red, white and rosado wines in a special competition organised by Terraxàbia, a Town Hall supported initiative that seeks to promote locally-grown produce. Just before the presentations were made to the winning producers, the general public was allowed to make its own observations as the contending wines were brought out for a chance for a taste. Salvador Cruanyes won the categories for both the white and red wine, whilst Pere Mate came second in the red category and Juan Mateo third. And then, if the final act of the programme, the prize for the best 'coca' as chosen by the general public through special voting cards that were issued when purchasing tickets, went to Bar Montgó located in Calle Virgen de los Ángeles in the old town.

The sun continued to shine throughout the afternoon as long tables accommodated a very decent crowd that had made its way to the park to enjoy some good food and wine in the open air. The music complemented an excellent atmosphere of community spirit as food and drink was shared between groups who were once strangers but quickly became new friends. And everything was guided by an excellent team of organisers led by XábiaIdea and Las Provincias who ensured that things ran as smoothly as possible. There was the occasional furrowed brow but they can all be pleased that the weekend's fayre was well appreciated by all. Make sure you make a date for 2014!

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