The Cantabrian capital celebrates its Great Week from July 19 to 28 with an agenda full of activities and one of the main bullfighting fairs in northern Spain
The Santander Fair always begins on Friday before July 25, the day of the patron saint of our country, the Apostle Santiago, and it lasts for ten days. It is known as ‘Semana Grande’ and is declared of Regional Tourist Interest. We have to go back to the middle of the XIX century to find its origin when, the success of some summer festivals took the Town Hall to accompany them of fairs and bullfighting celebrations. Barracks, games, music and dancing, churros stands and an important livestock exhibition completed the celebrations.
The ‘chupinazo’ (rocket) from the balcony of the City Hall is the kick-off to a few days loaded with all kinds of acts. The ‘Gigantillas’, parade of giants and big heads with Doña Tomasa, La Repipiada, D. Pantaleón and La Vieja de Vargas with mountain bagpipes and drums, appear there for the first time and do it again on the day of Santiago. The concerts are an important part of the program and are spread around different places of the city such as the Sardinero, the Porticada Square, the Sports Palace, the Piquío Gardens, as well as the popular festivals in the San Roque Park Auditorium.
The Day Fair is divided into seven areas of Santander: the Town Hall Square , the Pombo one, the Cuadro one, Alfonso XIII Square, the Alameda de Oviedo, Puertochico and Mesones Park. The booths are made up of several catering establishments that offer a variety of snacks and drinks to their visitors. Fireworks, theater, playgrounds, folklore, popular contests, theater, parades, brass bands…flood and animate the streets.
The ‘peñas’ (gangs of party identified with their own shield and colors) have a prominent role in the Great Week, organizing their own activities and giving life and color. There are five: La Pera, La Panderetuca, Los Vividores, La Pirula and El Desfiladero.
Santander Bullfighting Fair
Santander Bullring has organized a Santiago Fair that is positioned as one of the main events of the season. A horse-bullfighting that will open on Sunday, July 21, a steers-bullfight and five bullfights, make up the season ticket for 2019.
An appointment of the highest level with the presence of winners of the season as Pablo Aguado, Roca Rey or Paco Ureña; livestock variety; and the permanent commitment to the quarry.
Happy week, bullfighting lovers!