Best Bets, April 28: Feria de Abril; Shakespear's birthday, Joan of Arc Festival
SpainOriginally a 19th-century cattle trading fair, Seville’s La Feria de Abril (April fair) has evolved into a colorful 24-hour party that runs this year not in April but May — beginning Tuesday and continuing to May 8 in the area of Los Remedios, next to the river.
Wander the fairgrounds and watch the costumed locals parade in carriages or on horseback, or catch one of the daily bullfights. You also can stop in one of the casetas (canvas pavilions) and enjoy drinking, music and dancing.
For more festival details, go to http://www.andalucia.com/festival/seville-feria.htm.
EnglandBecause William Shakespeare’s birthday fell on Easter this year, Stratford-upon-Avon’s annual Shakespeare procession from his birthplace to Trinity Church is planned for this Saturday morning. It will be followed by an afternoon of street entertainment, Royal Shakespeare Company family workshops, puppet shows and birthday cake.
Events will continue until May 8. Sunday is Miguel de Cervantes Day, honoring the Spanish author of the novel “Don Quixote.” He died on the same day as Shakespeare, on April 23, 1616. Spanish food and Spanish-themed events, including flamenco dancing, will fill Henley Street.
For more info, consult the official website at www.shakespearesbirthday.org.uk.
FranceThis year’s Joan of Arc festival in Orleans takes on a Scottish air, commemorating the year 1429, when the young woman led an army of Scottish soldiers in a siege of the city. This alliance of French and Scottish troops had originally formed to fight against England and was formalized in the 13th-century Auld Alliance.
The festival begins tomorrow as “Joan” enters the city, but the festival’s highlight events take place Sunday, starting with her historic ride across the Loire River into the city, accompanied by bagpipes, troops and musicians.
Also on the day’s program are a medieval settlement, horse shows, a battle at 6:15 p.m. and food and drinks.
May 6 through May 8, the city welcomes a medieval market with games, fighting, dancing, music, Highlanders and entertainment for children. The final grand historical parade takes place Sunday at 3:20 p.m. For more details, go to www.orleans.fr/fetes-de-jeanne-darc-2011 (in French).