Since it started in 1989 The Mijas International Festival has grown in size and popularity to become one of the local entertainment highlights of the year. A miscellany of cultures and costumes, music and dance, food and drink, the festival is a colourful celebration of the diversity of Mijas. Over 20 different countries participate – too many to mention all by name. They herald from as far a field as Vietnam to Venezuela and Bolivia to Bulgaria, each sharing a taste of their homeland. This year the weekend fun starts on Friday 8th June at 8.00 pm and on Saturday and Sunday at midday.
The festival, attended by thousands, is spread throughout the village, and thanks to Club La Costa and ADIMI children’s charity, a 50 cents per ride mini train now links the three main zones. Designated Red, Green and Blue each zone has its own programme of displays, events and highlights – for example, Red zone in the main plaza opposite the town hall has a bouncy castle, kids’ art workshop, a multitude of colourful stalls and bars offering tasty international foods, crafts and drinks and the main stage. Red zone on Friday night will host the lively African dance show from Senegal, on Saturday various acts come together for a brilliant night of Celtic entertainment and on Sunday afternoon at 6.30 there is an exciting performance of Indian Bollywood music and dance.
The Marbella Rat Pack perform a Sinatra tribute in the Blue zone on Sunday and in between there are many more street parades, dancers and musicians, exhibitions, performances and workshops in each zone. The complete programme is available from the www.mijas.es website or any Mijas town hall office Tel. 952 58 9 010.
Saturday noon is also the unveiling of a new Mijas art piece next to the town hall. Designed by local artist José Almiron and titled “Mosaic of the World” the work of glazed blue ceramics when seen from a distance depicts a map of the world. Under the slogan “Somos un Mundo” it represents the peace and harmony enjoyed by over a 100 different nationalities who call Mijas home.
The Portillo bus company will lay on extra buses to and from Mijas, the last bus down to Fuengirola on both Saturday and Sunday night being at 1.00 am. There is the usual free “park and ride” service at the entrance to the village which can accommodate 500 plus vehicles with members of “The association of the unemployed over 40s” volunteering to keep a protective eye on the cars. Note; although there is no charge for the parking or the shuttle bus, please feel free to thank your vigilantes with a suitable gratuity.
Every year an unimaginable amount of work goes into making The Mijas International Festival a success and the 24th festival is no exception, once more Mijas has ticked the box for another job well done. However, without the cooperation of so many others it would not be possible to host a festival of these proportions. With this in mind the Mayor of Mijas, Angel Nozal, Mario Bravo the councillor for the Foreign Residents Department and the department itself would sincerely like to publicly thank all concerned for their good will and efforts and invite everyone to come up to Mijas for yet another terrific International Festival.
By Pete Woodall for Mijas Town Hall