Ronda - Fair and Festival of Pedro Romero
The most important fair of Ronda has its origin at the city quarter of San Francisco. Since more than hundred years, the fair took place at the traditional dates of september 8th, 9th and 10th, and organized by the neighbours of the Almocabar Gate, the Laurel's Castle and the Convent of San Francisco, and using the name of the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de Gracia. On august, 25th, 1881, the fair moved to the market's quarter, the same place where the May Fair was taking also place.
At 1882 and for the first time, the september fair took place at the market's quarter. At that age, the May Fair was still the most important celebration in Ronda, but, slowly and through the years, the Semptember Fair took more importance each time. Since 1954, and once the September Fair was changed into the Pedro Romero Fair, this Celebration became the most important of the city of Ronda.
At the second half of august the first events announcing the coming Fair are organized, like some Theater performances, the Fair's Opening Speech, the presentation of the Goyaesque Ladies - real stars of the Fair -, the Flamenco singing Festival, several sports competitions,...
When the first week of september arrives, the great Ronda's festive week arrives. At these dates, Ronda's neighbours and visitors are invited to enjoy of a colourful city, plenty of music, dance, singing, wines and, specially, its people, "very good people" as the Andalusian people say. Ronda offers its best and shows to everyone a great number of cultural and enjoy options. Touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight are activated and it is possible to enjoy the spring for a second time during some days.
When the International Folklore Music and Dancing Festival starts, the Fair is in the air. The Fair and Festival of Pedro Romero starts officially with the Parade (an opportunity to admire for the first time the most beautiful women, the Goyaesques) and also with the Switching of the Fair Place's artistic lights. When the night comes, the senses are excited, confused and mixed at the Real (the Fair's Place), a place where, as the famous singer Juan Manuel Serrat would say, each one is every one.
Everything is joy, everything life, everything shines, everything jumps.Made of liquid and round the table, the golden waves run said the poet Salvador Rueda. Everything is colours and glances, noises and shouts, laughs, joy and dance.
Everything is ready, so the older and younger people can have fun at the Feria del Centro (Fair in the midle of the city) and at the different music events at the Municipal Caseta (a provisory building specially made each year for singing, dancing, drink a cup and, in one word, enjoying).We will arrive slowly to the desired and long waited Saturday, the Saturday of theTraditional Goyaesque Bullfighting, a date when all the bullfighting fans will live, feel and get excited with the echoes of the "Olés" roared at our wonderful stone Bullring.
It's the most important bullfighting afternoon, plenty of light and violet colour at the sky, an afternoon of winging fans at Ronda's bullring, with it's goyaesque history and its Cavalry Order. It's the most important meeting, and a dreamed of bullfight is long awaited, like something living deep at the heart's inside. Looking at that national monument specially decorated for this event, with smells of cigars, sweets, small wineskins and exciting silences, the eyes cannot find one limited where to stop, because the beauty seen and heard is always increasing and non stopping.
The Goyaesque Bullfight has got its own personality which makes it different. The reason for this is the combination of an incredible show with the spectacular frame for it of the two hundred years old Bullring of the Royal Cavalry Order of Ronda. Lots of details make ofthe Goyaesque Bullfight an special event. Without any kind of doubt, some of them are the legendary name of Ronda and its ancient history, the more investigated it is, the older it becomes. In addition to this, the romantic travelers have to be mentioned, and of course, after them, the shock and enthusiastic feeling of Orson Welles and Ernest Hemingway.
The first Goyaesque Bullfight was celebrated at 1954 because of the second century birth's celebration of the Ronda's world known bullfighter Pedro Romero.
But that's not all !! The Carriage's Contest and the Ronda's Horse Bullfighting still wait for visitors and Ronda's neighbours. The gold looking iron attachements of the horses, the magnificient saddlery works, the leather hand made boots and trousers of the riders, the litle bells of the horses making an art courtain sounding like a symphony of the carriages and horses.
When the last day arrives, the city awakes returning into the 21st century. A magic week has passed through. During it, it has been possible to go back to the 18th century, and, for some days, everyone has noticed that the watch has been looked in a different way. A watch showing only the time for enjoy, a time for fiesta, a time for art.
And it can be also seen that, although the Fair and Festival of Pedro Romero have finished, we are still in Ronda, we can still be dreaming, we still can smell the art, to dream of the bullfighter's movements, of the mountain's bandits, of the beautiful women, of the purity. At least, everyone smells of Ronda, as the poet Juan Ramón Jiménez said: "Ronda high and deep, categoric, profound, round and high..."