Benidorm did it again, seeing thousands turn out for the annual British Fancy Dress Day, which always takes place the day after the official Benidorm fiesta ends. Town Hall figures estimate that 40,000 attended - an increase on last year's 30,000! The beginning of the week was marred with grey skies and rain – coincidentally, the same as last year, but this morning the sky was a perfect blue and the sun was certainly shining down to greet all those who descended for what has been deemed Europe’s biggest fancy dress party!
The entire Calle Gerona was closed to traffic, as were many of the street running off it, giving revelers free reign to party… and boy, do the Brits know how to party! Most the bars along Calle Gerona blasted out music, often competing with each other and had makeshift bars on the road outside their establishments.
One thing I noticed was that for the first time many were also selling food in addition to the giant paella made outside Morgans Tavern.
The entire area was a rainbow of colour and age certainly wasn’t a factor when it came to dressing up!
Another first this year was that there was a float parade - similar to that in the Spanish fiestas, with all the main hotel groups and bars taking part, giving it a carnival type feel. There were Brazilian dancers performing in between the floats, batucada drums and even the odd camel too!
It was nice to see that they are investing time and effort into the day - after all, it brings a lot of revenue in, with the drinking starting just after noon and continuing well into the night for the hard core fun seekers. The Mayor, Toni Perez attended along with the security councilor Lorenzo Martinez and Director of Visit Benidorm tourism, Leire Bilbao.
The variety of costumes on display was incredible and lots of thought and effort had obviously gone into them, with many themed groups.
It’s amazing to think that many of those present had flown over, packing their costumes with them.
Seeing groups of babies, Christmas trees, police, miners – you name it, they were probably somewhere there, is not an everyday sight walking down the streets of Benidorm. There was a fantastic party atmosphere throughout the entire day and even a foam party outside Broadway… you’re never too old to play in the foam!
Rather than just concentrated around The Square, the entire area was packed – from the Ambassador Hotel all the way down to Jumping Jacks and no sign of any trouble was reported by the police - 40 Policial Local officers were on duty in addition to the National Police.Same time next year – but in the meantime there is St Patrick’s Day, which has turned into a weekend event and another excuse to get dressed up – plus next year there is also a 3-day Tattoo Convention taking place then too!