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Let's all go Balearic, 1-4 May: it’s all free

Horses from the Balearics to gee-up the city centre. Plus dance, music, giants, street performers and food: adding up to one huge fiesta

Published on May 1st 2009.

Let's all go Balearic, 1-4 May: it’s all free

The city centre will be filled with festive fun from the Balearic Islands this Bank Holiday weekend. And how. This is a massive festival paid for by islands of Majorca, Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera to showcase their delights.

And it’s all free.

Here’s what the solid citizens of our northern capital can look forward to: more than two hundred artists, dancers, musicians and craftspeople rocking two custom built pavilions in Albert Square. If that’s not enough there’ll be break out parades through the city and flamboyant firework displays.

First the main marquee. Here you can watch, at various times, a dressage performance by nine Minorcan horses and riders, music, dancing and street acts. There’ll also be demonstrations of traditional arts and crafts with food and drink including orlettes (sweet biscuits), almonds, sobrasada, cheese and the ensaimada a delicious sweet pastry.

In the family marquee there’ll be storytelling, face painting, games and recycling workshops. Confidential isn’t sure how the latter are meant to be fun, but families certainly get plenty of time to enjoy the various delights as the tents are open until 8pm on Saturday and Sunday and 5pm on Monday.

The parades take place on Saturday and Sunday starting at 1pm and on Monday from 11am. The processional route will be Market Street, Cross Street and into La Plaza de Albert. The parades include street performers, dancers, Geants, (those bighead giants), acrobats and musicians.

A highlight will undoubtedly be the Minorcan gee-gees doing whatever dressage is in the main marquee. This will be the most impressive horse display since the Greater Manchester Police riot dressage for Rangers' fans last year. The event takes place on Friday at 6pm and 8pm and continues until Monday.

Meanwhile Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings finish off with fireworks at 9pm on all three nights. These are entitled the Correfoc Devil’s fire display and are demonically possessed and very loud extravaganzas of crazed pyrotechnics.

Other keynote acts include flamenco with Paco Fernandez, Eva Redondo and friends where traditional Iberian rhythms merge with jazz and hip-hop. Big Yu Yu features a ten piece rock band fusing blues and contemporary style. Xalandri is a spectacular folk band with six musicians and a repertoire made up of songs by Minorcan composers including romantic ballads and songs based on ancient legends and music.

All of this should amount to some serious fun and some great entertainment and it's all free.

For further information check out the official website: click here.

Click here for the performance timetable.

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