Tuesday 17th May 2022 – Mike Smith
Source: press launch – Ajuntament de Xàbia / Fogueres Commission
The Fogueres de Sant Joan is arguably the biggest party of the year in Xàbia, kicking off the summer season with two weeks of festivities in the old town. This year, it promises to be even bigger as it returns after a long absence caused by the pandemic with an unprecedented THREE quintàs as the main protagonists of the celebrations, the young men and women who have reached a major milestone as they pass into adulthood.
Quintà 2020 “Tot per L’Aire”, Quintà 2021 “La Desastrà” and Quintà 2022 “La Retornà” will take centre stage, three Fogueres Queens, six Ladies in Waiting, and three presidential pairings, a total of 167 young adults. In addition, there will also be the children’s court, the Infantil Queen and her ladies-in-waiting, who will be representing 2020.
When developing the intensive programme, the Fogueres Commission aimed to produce a series of acts in which each quintà would be able to shine on their own, a difficult task when trying to squeeze three groups into just two weeks of festivities. Nevertheless, the Commission has managed to open the celebrations by doing just that, giving each group of young people their own chance to take centre stage.
Thus, on Friday 10th June in the Plaza de la Constitución, Quintà 2020 and the children’s court 2020 will enjoy their special night of proclamation, followed by Quintà 2021 on Saturday 11th June, and Quintà 2022 on Sunday 12th June.
The festivities will then kick off officially on Monday 13th June with the traditional ‘Pregón’ when the three Fogueres Queens – Marta Ortuño (2020), Nara Rodriguez (2021) and Olivia Clemente (2022) – will kick off proceedings, declaring the fiesta as started by exclaiming “Visca Xàbia i Visquen les Fogueres de Sant Joan!” above a church square packed with colour as the peñas await the call to party.
There will be five days of bulls from Tuesday 14th June to Sunday 19th June in the bull arena that will be built as always on the municipal car-park in Avenida Palmela.
In addition, the organisers have had to take into account that there will be a multitude of anniversaries to acknowledge, those Quintàs celebrating 5, 10, 15, 20 and 25 years in each year, 2020, 2021, 2022, fifteen groups in total. Therefore, a little tweaking to the normal programme has produced two evenings of flower offering to the image of San Juan on Tuesday 21st June and Wednesday 22nd June, and two evenings of float parades on Thursday 23rd June and Friday 24th June.
And there are some new additions to the programme (see the banner link below). The Xarxa Teatre, the company that creates the extraordinary correfocs experience, will be offering ‘VideoMapping’, the projection of images onto the façade of the famous Convent church, a display entitled “Xàbia en Festes”. In addition, the younger members of the community will be able to participate in their own fire-jumping experience on the night of the fires on Thursday 23rd June whilst there will be an official bar crawl (“De Bar en Bar”) on the afternoon of Friday 17th June, offering a change to enjoy local gastronomy and drinks at special prices.
Live music has always been a major feature of the programme each June and this year the highlight is the ‘Nit de Rock’ on Sunday 19th June which will feature the amazing music of Arsènic, La Fúmiga and Pupil·les. There will also be traditional music provided by the Colla Portitxol, stage shows and tribute bands as well as the ubiquitous ‘discomóvil’ playing music of dance to until the early hours of the morning, alternating between the Plaza de la Constitución and the bull arena in Avenida Palmela.
And the two weeks of festivities will be brought to an end as always by two extraordinary days. First, the famous ‘Nit dels Focs’ on Thursday 23rd June, an event that brings thousands into the town to jump the fires for good luck and then flee the sparks and flames of the correfocs, an event that has been declared a fiesta of the local tourist interest in the Comunidad Valenciana.
And then, on the final night of Friday 24th June, the Foguera Infantil will be engulfed in flames after which there will be the stunning firework display set to music – in previous years, we’ve enjoyed the music of David Bowie, Games of Thrones and Marvel – followed by the very emotional burning of the Foguera Central. Both Fogueras have been designed and created by the artist Josep Sanchís Izquierdo.
The Fogueres 2022 book is now available, hefty 2cm thick souvenir which features individual photos of all the participants representing 2020, 2021, and 2022 plus images of those celebrating their special anniversaries, the full programme and interesting local stories. The cover has been designed by local artist Fernando Sala, a regular contributor to the Fogueres de Sant Joan in recent years.
The 2022 edition promises to be an extra special celebration after two years of disappointment. There’s just under four weeks to go!