Shamrocks. Potatoes. Guinness. De Lorean, Black Bush, Daya Nueva! Name the connection? If you shouted out St. Patrick; top marks and go to the top of the class, as the pueblo of Daya Nueva shall be celebrating Ireland’s Patron Saint with a week of festivities, starting on the March 14th 2010. This year’s ‘A Day of Fun in Daya Nueva’ is planned to be just that. Starting at noon with Mass in the Village Church, once the formalities are out of the way, the rest of the day is dedication to having a bit of fun and finding out for yourself where the expression ‘to paint the town green’ comes from!
There’s a procession, or a parade that starts at around 1300-hrs, down the main street and returning to the Town Hall, before everyone heads off for lunch, picnics, entertainment and joviality. Club Torrevieja Classics and Specialists Cars will clear the road for the parade followed by members of the International Cofradia with their own interpretation of St. Patrick’s float. Don’t expect to see something quite as impressive as the Semana Santa processions though, as this parade is not a sombre one by any stretch of the imagination!
Along with much blowing of car horns, even more noise and spectacle shall be provided by the Willie Hume Pipers, Daya Nueva’s New Alliance Choral group, Guadamar’s Celtic Group plus the Festival Queens, Damas de Honor, local council, invited guests and the organising committee. At 1400-hrs everyone is welcome to join the mayor of Daya Nueva, Pablo Castillo Ferri, for the customary raising of both Spanish and Irish flags accompanied by both countries’ National Anthems, played by Union Musical San Miguel Arcángel de Daya Nueva. Don’t worry if you don’t know the words to the Spanish Anthem because, it doesn’t have any; so you can just hum along!
The Grand Marshall of this year’s event is Brendan Kelly. He said “The first St. Patrick’s festival was held back in 2008, when a modest 100 or so participated. As word grew, 2009 attracted over 400 and this year we expect to at least double if not triple that number to join in the fun.” And that also goes for the numbers of those participating in both the parade and afterwards in the park. At 1500-hrs there shall be concert featuring all those parading plus invites have also been sent to Torrevieja Pipes and Drums, the La Marina Youth Group and the Huertana Group from Almoradí plus there shall be a static display of classic cars and bikes from Club Torrevieja and activities for the kids.
Brendan continued “No matter where one is in the world, you can rely on there being a celebration on St. Patrick’s Day. We’d like to invite one and all to attend and if any other groups would like to march in the procession they would be most welcome to do so.” Club Torrevieja are organising the parade of cars and static display and encourage anyone interested in participating to contact David Hudson for more details on how to become involved. David added “You don’t have to have a superb car. Anything goes. Classic cars, kit cars, Harley Davidson’s, American Muscle, Trikes, Bikes, Beach Buggy’s or even future classics. It’s a fun day and anything of interest will be most welcome.”
Daya Neuva can certainly claim to be International. Of the 1,800 residents, 30 different nationalities are represented, accounting for 1,300 foreigners who call the village home. Funding is provided by the Diputación de Alicante, Cajamurcia, programme sales and a raffle. Being the first St. Patrick’s festival in the region also gives them the opportunity to invite some important people in the form of Irish consul Rory Byrne, provincial deputy for European residents María Asunción Prieto, Pedro Valero from Torrevieja’s Town hall and so as not to be seen to discriminate, the British Consulate has also been sent an invitation.
The Spanish and Irish have more in common than many might think, including bagpipes and kilts, to name but a few. Their ‘devil may care’ nature with a twinkle in the eye also goes a long way to make their festivals happy ones and anyone who would like to become involved in the parade would be most welcome and should contact Brendan Kelly on 618 151 157 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org . Those with classic or interesting cars or bikes should contact Club Torrevieja’s Chairman David Hudson on 96 571 6360 or by email at email@example.com to ensure you receive an invite to lunch and your goddie bag!
St Patrick’s Day is of course on the 17th and there is a dinner planned at Yo Yo’s Restaurant in celebration. Dinner, music and dancing is only €20 per person and you can book your place by contacting Brendan. As the saying goes, ‘there are those that are Irish and those that wish they were’ which is certainly true during this week. You don’t have to wear green but it will be colour of the day and as a thank you, there shall be hundreds of shamrocks being handed out and, if you keep your wits about you, you may even spot a leprechaun or two! Sláinte!