Today was the main event of the party calendar for Brits in Benidorm – Fancy Dress Day, which always takes place the day after the official Benidorm fiesta ends. The weather at the beginning of the week was rather unsettled, with rain on Tuesday, but this morning the sky was blue and the sun was shining down - much to everyone's relief.
Sensibly the police had closed Calle Gerona to traffic – although a few stray cars managed to somehow get past the barrier. However, once they hit the swarms of people in the middle of the street I am sure that they regretted it! People started congregating from around 1pm, and it was a rainbow of colour as far as the eye could see.
The Western Saloon laid on a giant free paella, which was made in front of the crowds on the road and kept many of the revelers up at the top end. Rather than just concentrated around The Square, the entire area was chocka – from Western Saloon all the way down to Jumping Jacks.
All the bars along Calle Gerona blasted out music - often competing with each other and had makeshift bars on the road outside their establishments. There was a fantastic party atmosphere throughout the entire afternoon – and the hard core fun seekers were still there some 8 hours later.
The costumes were incredible with a lot of thought going into them – I even heard some groups of Spanish people dressed up and joining in. The event seems to get bigger and better each year – and long may it last. I bet that it´ll be somewhat quieter tomorrow, with a few sore heads knocking around.
An assessment from the Spanish police estimates that 30,000 people attended the British Fancy Dress day this year - it has certainly grown over the last 20 years! Gianpaolo Camponovo, owner of Tiki City had to increase its workforce by 10 people to cope with this avalanche of people and said "This is a reflection of how important the English are for tourism in Benidorm"