Great Valencia Fair
In July Valencia gets ready to hold its traditional Great Valencia Fair. The city organises a month of activities, filling the streets with colour, outdoor concerts and firework displays on the seafront. There is also time for culture, with a night when the museums are open until dawn and a spectacular Battle of Flowers as a grand finale. During the festival, Valencia vibrates to the sound of jazz, pop, and rock, and smells of gunpowder, roses and daisies.
The festival was held for the first time on 21 July 1871, with a fabulous parade, pavilions, exhibitions of plants and many products for sale. Over the years, the Festival gradually came to coincide with the harvest. Exhibitions of produce and livestock were held in a festive ambience, with dancing and evening entertainment in the pavilions set up for the Festival.
GREAT VALENCIA FAIR ACTIVITIES
Concerts in the Viveros Gardens
During Valencia's July Festival, the Viveros Gardens are transformed into a vast outdoor concert hall with performances by the best Spanish and international bands.
The Flower Battle was established in 1891. It is held on the last Sunday of July, when a bloodless battle of flowers is fought between young ladies atop floats and the expectant crowds below. Thousands of marigolds fly through the air for nearly an hour, leaving a stunningly beautiful multicolour carpet of flowers on the ground. It is a very special and recommendable grand finale for those who have never experienced it before.
Entrance Parade of Moors and Christians
The city's seaside districts celebrate the Moors and Christians festival. A large night time procession passes through the streets of Cabañal and Malvarrosa, the landing on the seafront promenade, followed by the Moors and Christians Entrance Parade.
Art and Culture in the city's neighbourhoods
Music, theatre, cinema, pyrotechnics, processions, shows, workshops, dance, dinners, humour, championships...Filling the streets and squares, on the beach and around the towns.
La Gran Nit
Another event not to be missed during the Fair is the Gran Nit, with musical performances in many spots in the city, paella tastings and the museums open until dawn. Culture and flavour invade the city's streets in a festive summer ambience that is very Mediterranean.
Jazz Festival in the Palau de la Música
Coinciding with the Great Valencia Fair, Valencia holds a Jazz Festival in the Palau de la Música, with its legendary jam sessions and a free concert in the Palau Gardens to open the festival.
City of Valencia International Music Band Contest
The International Music Band Contest, instituted in 1886, takes place in the second fortnight of July. The Palau de la Música hosts the unique and prestigious Contest.
The July Festival cannot be conceived of without the spectacular fireworks displays lit by the best fireworks technicians. After midnight on every Saturday in July there will be fireworks displays at different points across the city.
Bullfights take place in the second fortnight of July, during what was formerly known as the San Jaime Fair. The Valencian public's enthusiasm for bullfights is evidenced by the top names in bullfighting lined up by the organisers.