On the 13th August, TASSCA (The Spanish Socio-Cultural Association in Australia) organised the first “Verbena de la Paloma” in Brisbane, a traditional festival from Madrid, Spain. The event was sponsored by the Council of Tourism of the Madrid region – its support was essential for the realization of this event in Australia.
The party was held in the courtyard of Brisbane State High School in South Brisbane. The patio was decorated with the typical motifs of the festival in Madrid, and volunteers made sure all the elements of a typical street party (verbena) were present.
As it was an event suitable for the whole family, there were traditional games for children, such as “bottle cap races”. Attendees enjoyed music by two Spanish artists based in Brisbane: the singer Tania Balil and the pianist Ernesto Alcalá. Diego Perez, teacher and founder of Flamenco House-Brisbane, gave the participants a crash course in two of the most popular dances of the festival, chotis and pasodoble.
Food was another highlight of the event – a Spanish caterer offered paella and Spanish wines could be drunk at the bar set up for the occasion. There was no shortage either of the traditional wafers and lemonade typical of any verbena.
Many of the attendees were dressed in the “Chulapa” and “Chulapo” traditional costume and a prize was given to the best dressed.
Some Radio 4EB broadcasters were also present covering the event and promoting the radio program among the Spanish community.