More than six thousand festeros participate in an entertaining, fast and colorful parade and start applause from the thousands of people who packed the route
The falcatas of the Warriors of Uxama clashing on their belts, the beautiful sound of the bagpipes of the Praetorian Guard and the rapid pounding of the drums of the Legio Universitas, Hostages of Carthago and many others took over the streets of Cartagena again this Saturday, as the imposing costumes of Pueblo de Carthagonova, Cinco Colinas and Mastienos, among others, in an entertaining, fast and very showy general parade of troops and legions, which brought together thousands of people between the Town Hall Square and the camp. More than six thousand festeros participated, the largest number in the history of these celebrations, according to the organizers, due to the increase in members in the fifty groups.
The warm temperature that prevailed throughout the evening helped the warriors to show off more, who took to the streets, with desire and enthusiasm, the story of two peoples. “I’m loving it. I am from Valencia and I had never seen a display of period costumes of these characteristics. This parade is very hard-working », said Juan Luis del Olmo, while having a beer with his family, in a bar on Puerta de Murcia street around eight in the afternoon.
In fact, just like the establishments on that street, those on Plaza del Ayuntamiento, Plaza del Icue and Calle del Carmen were also bursting at the seams, like the chairs, which had been for almost an hour before the procession began, at seven pm. It was then, when Carthagineses and Romans took over the old town for the first time, after two years of suspension due to the pandemic caused by Covid-19, to show their power and shout in unison that these festivals have a future.
The streets of the route as well as the bars and cafeterias registered an absolute full during the four hours of the parade
Trinidadians and Berbers
And it is that both in one group and in another it was shown that the generational change was assured, in a parade that was in the street for four hours, one of the longest of those that have been held. The slight wind that blew from the beginning was at times an ally, especially when the groups passed through the Alameda de San Antón. The entourage was opened by a representation of the Trinitarian and Berber festivities of the municipality of Los Alcázares, for being the guest town in this 33rd edition of the historical festivities. The participants staged the march of their armies at a fast pace, more than in other years, through sober and disorderly choreographies in some cases and perfect in others, such as Hannibal’s Troops or Amilcar Barca’s.
Gladiators fighting with shields and swords, jugglers, acrobats and dancers with fire were the ones who added color and joy to the parade, the same as the rest of the characters and participants. In the center of the Romans was the chariot of General Publio Cornelio Escipión and his partner, Emilia Paula, adult and child, newly created by the Roman Senate. She was pulled by four mules. Given its size, it joined the parade at Jara Street, to applause.
Behind them was another of the entertainment theater groups that gave the parade a spectacular show with their unique dances. The uniform, straight and martial step of the Extraordinary Shock Forces -at the end of the parade to the rhythm of trumpets-, Hispanic Auxiliary Infantry and Vigiles de Carthagonova drew numerous applause. Also the movements of the priestesses of Baal-Hammon, with their golden wings, and that of the girls of Himilcón’s troop with their bows. Nor were they missing, although it was already in papier-mâché format, neither the Capitoline wolf that preceded the Magistrates of Rome, nor the elephant of Hasdrubal’s Troops, nor this same symbol of Hannibal on the chariot of the Carthaginian general and his wife Himilce .
The new carriage of the adult and child characters of Escipión and Emilia Paula was pulled by four mules
party until dawn
Upon leaving the Plaza del Ayuntamiento, it was packed with the public and the groups that gathered there from six in the afternoon to parade. There were people almost to the esplanade of the port, climbed on the lampposts and even on the stage of the Town Hall, where a ‘speaker’ was quoting troops and legions and giving a brief explanation of each one of them in Spanish and English. And it is that, the presence of foreigners, especially British and French, was extensive among the public, who did not stop taking photos. Upon the arrival of the entourage at the camp, almost all the troops and the legions celebrated brotherhood dinners that lasted until the wee hours of the morning, as a farewell. And all that was left was to think about the end that will mark today the extinguishing of the sacred fire.
Tribute in Torreciega to the deceased festeros
The Legion IV Quinto Trebelio paid homage this Saturday to those who fell in the Battle against the Carthaginians, but also to the festeros who died during the year, next to the Torreciega funerary monument. The act did not last more than forty minutes and it was attended by almost a hundred people, between the participants in the act and the public that gathered there.
The extinguishing of the sacred fire puts the end of the festivities
The extinguishing of the Sacred Fire, this Sunday from 9:30 p.m., and the firing of a fireworks display, from 10:00 p.m., which will be attended, as usual, by dozens of people, will put an end to the parties tonight. Troops and legions will close the programming of the thirty-third edition, to start planning the next one.
In this way, the end will be put to ten intense days of festivities, in which the great protagonist has been the history of the city. Moments before the two great acts that close the festivities, the members of the troops and legions will participate in a festive coexistence in the camp.
The Vestals, Priestesses, Priests and representatives of Troops and Legions, will walk the streets of the festive venue, turning off and silencing all the camps as they go, to reach the stage where the Sacred Fire will be extinguished and the Anthem of Cartagena will be sung.
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