Its been quite hectic around here, having just barely recouped from the Third Annual Gran Feria de Andalucia en el Caribe.  Aside from being quite a mouthful, this event was quite the handful as well. It was exhausting, invigorating, intense, entertaining and quite the spectacle. In short however, we would like to congratulate the team behind this tremendous event as it was, in our humble opinion – a great success. For those readers unfamiliar with the Feria de Andalucia, it is an annual event of massive proportions that has just completed its third successful year in Casa de Campo. The fair is a homage to the Feria de Abril (the April Fair) in Spain, which is summed up as follows:
The history of the April Fair dates back to 1847 when Queen Isabel II released a royal decree, responding to a petition of the two town councilors, Jose Maria Ybarra and Narciso Bonaplata. At first this exciting event was created as a livestock fair with 19 stands where Sevillians would sing and dance, and by doing so they would distract themselves from a period of economic depression that a disastrous hurricane had brought upon them. It was not long until the dancing, singing, laughing, joy and the contagious enthusiasm became the main reason for holding the fair, leaving behind the sale and purchase of cattle as a mere excuse. In our times this fair represents the most emblematic festival in the beautiful City of Sevilla, where people forget their hardships for a week and just enjoy the social gathering with friends and family. (Taken with permision from: http://feriaandaluciaenelcaribe.com/?p=historiaypresente)
Now back to our present.  This year was an exceptional event – with three days and nights of singing, dancing, drinking, fashion shows and even a little horseplay. While there where many interesting Casa de Campo related activities taking place, such as a Golf Tournament on the legendary Teeth of the Dog, a Tennis tournament, an Economic Forum, a rodeo, a concert by Rosario Flores and so much more – the star of the show was definitely the Feria itself.

The fair grounds where near the entrance of the resort, right next to the Casa de Campo equestrian center – with a 30 foot stage at one end and an impressive 40 foot archway, created by La Romana’s El Artistico, welcoming guests as they walked in. Inside, there where 28 tents, with 14 on each side and a impressive variety of vendors offering special deals on all kinds of merchandise.  Merchants participating at the fair where such as El Artistico, CasaLife, Segafredo, Sangria, Seguros BanReservas, Taso, Pizzarelli, Sunix, Marlene Saiz, Moma, Agua Crystal, Paninoteca, Consorcio Energetico Punta Cana – Macao, Jaguar / Mazda, Buongiorno Principini, Belarminio, Emilio Robba, Pilar Vera, Azurro, La Aurora; among a few others.

In addition to the merchants participating in the fair, there where also a handful of government and/or other institutions (both from the DR and from Spain) lending their support, such as CEI (Centro de Exportacion e Inversion) and SECTUR (Secretario de Estado de Turismo).  Naturally, as is the case, every year sees a few private tents pop-up. Unlike the rest of the tents, these are NOT open to the public, rather they act the part that is most familiar to anyone who has gone to the original Feria de Abril, in that for the duration of the fair, they become the home to those whom purchased them, as well as a select set of invited VIP guests. Of course, the tents are just a small part of the events – which continued on well past 1am or 2am every night, with live bands, sevillana music, dancers and on friday – an exclusive concert by Rosario Flores. Despite tickets ranging from US$30 to US$100, depending on the seating, the concert was impressively well attended – over 1500 guests in attendance!  We should also like to take a moment to thank the main sponsor of the event Claro for making this possible! The fun however, or at least in our minds, was the ability to share the event, from the comfort of the private CasaLife Magazine tent. Since we spent the weekend mooching from our friends at CasaLife Magazine, we’d like to give them a congratulatory line or two, as well as to their advertires and partners who also received ample exposure during the event. Those being: 1) Villa Collection / DEDON, who provided the furniture which decorated the tent and provided the relaxing and fun ambiance, 2) Vinos S.A. – whom provided the Belvedere Vodka, the Glenmorangie and the Veuve Clicquot champagne, 3) Atlantico Rum who kept us fully stocked with the most delicious new Dominican rum we’ve ever had, 4) La Casita for keeping our bellies full with some delicious paella, and of course – a special thanks to the exclusive interior design consultant of CasaLife, Mayra Gonzalez de Geitz who made the whole ambiance feel as comfortable as it did. [nggallery id=4] Three days later – we are exhausted, beat and tired.  The fair was a tremendous success and we would like to tip our hats to the folks who pulled it all together, with special credit to Don Roberto Weill and the folks at Praia and Casa de Campo. We believe that it will probably take us a year or so to recoup…. until the next fair! Please let us know what you thought of this article by rating the article, or leave us some feedback! If there is anything we missed, let us know and we’ll through another article or two filling in any blanks or questions you may have.

This article was written by Rebecca Hughes, editor of Casa de Campo Living and Casa de Campo’s entertainment specialist! Rebecca Hughes, Editorial and Events Marketing rhughes@casadecampoliving.com TEL: 809-523-2045   CEL: 809-949-8906 BBM: 230DA5D1 Altos de Chavón, Casa de Campo This article was produced exclusively for www.casadecampoliving.com