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The historic city of Orihuela once again took a trip back in time this weekend, as the fifteenth Medieval Market was held from Friday through to Sunday.

With the theme this year being the market of “senses” there was plenty to tantalise the eye, tastes, smell and more, with a varied and complete entertainment program provided by the company Espectáculos & Producciones AMB, at a cost of 30,000 euro.

The event had been brought forward this year to try to avoid bad weather, as has often caused problems in the past, according to the councillor for festivities, Carolina Gracia, unable to foresee that a weather warning was put in place for high winds.

In fact it was because of the high winds that the event didn´t start quite as planned. As the crowds gathered at the entrance to the town hall, entertained by a girl with a hula-hoop and a juggler, a disappointment to many who had experienced the dramatic theatrical opening of last year, when performers put on an incredibly well acted scene.

As time continued to pass, it was 45 minutes later before anybody took the effort to announce that because of the weather warnings in place the inaugural address would be postponed, but by that time many of those waiting had already left, as had the councillor for festivities herself, seen leaving the town hall well before the announcement.

It was later revealed in a press release that the wind had caused considerable damage overnight, and that four palm trees and two lampposts had been blown over. Local schools had been told to suspend outdoor activities and the emergency services were on alert. In addition, some thirty stalls from the Medieval Market had to be dismantled, after suffering some sort of damage from the gusts.

“Last night, the whole market was in place, but in the morning there had been very strong gusts. Some 25 or 30 positions had been damaged”, Gracia said, whilst commenting that the emergency services are monitoring the situation closely. Gracia also later explained that was the reason for postponing the inauguration, but that the event would continue and there was no risk to the public.

Once the initial problems had been overcome the event continued as in previous years, albeit a little windy still, but failing to dampen the spirits of those involved or just visiting.

The entertainment laid on was as varied as ever throughout the entire weekend, with music and dance and numerous parades, knights on horseback, belly dancers and even a variety of animals, all adding that extra magical charm to the hundreds of thousands who attended to take in the unique atmosphere that only a city so rich in history like Orihuela can convey.

The final figures are still being calculated but as the event was no quieter than previous years, it is likely to be in the region of around 200,000 people. Although the event cost 30,000 euro from the public purse, this was a considerable saving from the 42,000 euro last year, but represented even more value for money given the spectacular that was presented, so much so that there was no evidence of cost cutting to those attending the event, just a wonderful and magical weekend that really did bring all the senses to life.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/46255/

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