PSD/Portimão criticizes the dates of the São Martinho Fair that its councilor approved

PSD criticizes the anticipation of the event and the coincidence with the date of the fair in Silves

The PSD of Portimão accused today, in a statement, the municipal executive of the majority PS of cutting "with the historical origin of the date of the traditional São Martinho Fair, articulated for centuries between municipalities and fixed for the benefit of the regional scope".

In response, the Municipality of Portimão has just issued a public clarification, in which it recalls that “the date of the S. Martinho Fair was deliberated at a Chamber meeting on November 21, 2017, after consulting the operators who attended the fair of that same year». Such decision, adds the municipal executive, "was approved unanimously by those present", including by the councilor of the PSD Manuel Valente.

At issue, for the social democrats of Portimo, is the fact that the event, in 2018, began on November 2 and not on November 11 (S. Martinho's day), as they claim to be "traditional".

In its response, the Municipality of Portimão denies what it considers to be a “false”, recalling that “in the next few years, the S. Martinho fair never started on 11 November”.

Thus, in the last ten events, in 2009, the fair took place from the 6th to the 15th of November, in 2010, from the 5th to the 14th, in 2011, from the 4th to the 13th, in 2012, from the 9th to the 18th of November, in 2013, in 8 to 17, in 2014, 7 to 16, in 2015, from 6 to 15, in 2016, from 4 to 13, in 2017, from 3 to 12, and finally this year, from 2 to 11 November.

The Social Democrats demand to know why the Portimão Council “has tampered with what took several centuries to settle”.

For the PSD/Portimão, this change makes it «lose all the symbolism of the creation of the Fair». Also St. Martin's Day, which this year is the closing day, ceases to have «the splendor of yesteryear being the “high point” of this celebration».

In addition to symbolism, there are also historical and neighborly reasons. Because, recalled the PSD, "the fairs of Silves and Portimão have a historical origin, taking place for centuries on fixed dates, so as not to collide, allowing the two locations to enjoy the same right."

This year, with the anticipation of the São Martinho Fair, it started on the same weekend that the Feira de Todos-os-Santos de Silves ended, criticize the Social Democrats.

In its statement, moreover, following what Nuno Campos Inácio, a local history researcher and genealogist, had already stated on his Facebook page, the PSD says that the dates of the annual fairs «go back to 1662, when D. Afonso VI issued the Permit for the creation of the Feira Franca de São Martinho in Vila Nova de Portimão, and that the Feira de Todos-os-Santos de Silves was created by D. João II, in 1491, fixing the dates as they were respected, at least in Portimão , until 2017».

The Municipality of Portimão refutes this argument of the fixed dates for the fairs, now with regard to the one that takes place in the neighboring municipality of Silves. «Since 2014, the dates of the Silves Fair were as follows: 2014: from 30th to 2nd November; 2015: from 29th to 1st of November; 2016: from 29th to 1st of November; 2017: from November 30th to 2nd and 2018: from November 31st to 4th", recalls the executive from Portimo.

In other words, «the Silves fair does not have a set date either» and neither is its duration «constant», since this year «the Silves Fair had one more day than in previous years».

But the PSD does not stop there and accuses the municipality of Portimão of being the cause of the end of Feira de Lagoa, saying that it “would be on November 6th and, therefore, it probably won't even happen this year”. A confusion of the Portimonenses Social Democrats, since, in fact, this year there was no fair in Lagoa, since this event "has stopped being held for at least 20 years".

Since this measure «has a direct influence on three municipalities adjacent to Portimão» (Silves, Lagoa and Lagos), the PSD/Portimão also wants to know if «there was an articulation of dates between the four municipalities involved or if this was a decision unilateral and abusive by the municipality of Portimão».

The Portimonense Chamber, in its clarification, admits that "about two months ago", the municipal executive was alerted to the coincidence of dates for the fairs of S. Martinho and Todos os Santos, "having been made every possible effort for the postponement for a week' of the event in Portimão.

However, «this change was not possible only because an international dance event is scheduled for the weekend of November 17th and 18th, to be held at Portimão Arena, with more than a hundred foreign participants, already with the purchased trips and reserved accommodation».

Such an event could not be held at the same time as the S. Martinho fair, which takes place right next to the Portimão Arena and generates a lot of noise and confusion. Hence, defends the municipality, it was not possible to postpone it.