The April Fair 2018 takes place during the week from 15 to 21 April, from the traditional lighting of the Fair entrance known as the ‘alumbrao’ at midnight on the 2nd through to the fireworks which conclude the most international of Seville’s festivals at midnight on the 22th. Here we offer you everything you need to know so that you can get the most out of this hugely popular festival.
Origins. The April Fair was established on the 18th of April 1847 as a Cattle Fair which lasted three days on the site of the Prado de San Sebastián, thereby rescuing a license granted in 1254 by King Alfonso X the Wise. In the 19th century this meeting of cattle dealers consisted of the installation of various corrals for the cattle and small stalls or “casillas” (19 in the first edition) which provided a shady place to close the deals. It proved so successful that the following year the organisers of the cattle sales requested a greater presence of the authorities because “the locals, with their singing and dancing, made it difficult for them to carry out their business”. Over the years, these primitive fair stalls begin to invade the space dedicated to the corrals until reaching its current nature; essentially, a huge party celebrated by the entire city of Seville.Information offices. Apart from those located in the centre of Seville (Edificio Laredo. Plaza de San Francisco; and City Expert, Avenida de la Constitución), there are also two tourist information offices within the fair grounds: in calle Antonio Bienvenida (inside the Main Entrance) and at the beginning of calle Costillares (next to the fairground rides).
Casetas. The majority of the over 1,000 casetas or fair stalls installed at the 2010 edition are private, and have been maintained over decades by families, companies, institutions and associations. The casetas of the six districts of Seville are open to the public, namely: Casco Antiguo, Sur, Macarena, Triana, Este, Nervión-San Pablo. Is also possible to visit the casetas of political parties and trade unions, the addresses of which may be requested at the information offices and located with the aid of the map.
Horse and carriage rides at the Fair. The official period for the traffic of horses and carriages in the fairgrounds during the April Fair is from 12pm to 8pm. This is one of the most spectacular and typical aspects of this festival, with both male and female riders dressed in typical riding attire as they ride around the fairgrounds. There is also an incredible number and variety of horse-drawn carriages, with their access being controlled by the Department of Major Festivals of the Seville City Council to avoid traffic congestion in the Los Remedios District.
Horse-drawn Carriage Exhibitions. At 12pm on the first Sunday of the Fair, the 15th of April, Seville’s Real Maestranza de Caballeria Bullring is the venue for the April Fair Carriage Exhibition, which is traditionally organised by the Royal Andalusian Horse-drawn Carriage Club. A veritable spectacle of art in motion, and all in an incomparable setting.
Transport. There is a special bus service provided by the municipal bus service (TUSSAM) linking the Prado de San Sebastián with the Fair grounds. The nearest subway station is Blas Infante. A further option is to move around by taxi (Radio Taxi: 954 580 000).