The Costa del Sol prepares for a weekend of festivities in honor of the Virgen del Carmen

Most cities will organize the maritime procession on Saturday evening. / ON

This celebration has a long tradition in the province of Malaga and each locality will have a slightly different schedule

Tony Bryant

Towns on the Costa del Sol are gearing up for a series of festivities this weekend in honor of the Virgen del Carmen, also known as Our Lady of Mount Carmel.

Every July 16, celebrations take place from Nerja to Estepona and will include lavish processions that culminate in the image of the Virgin Mary, decorated with floral offerings, being escorted out to sea by dozens of small fishing boats.

It is a special day for many towns that were originally fishing villages, as the Virgen del Carmen is the patron saint of fishermen; she is also the patroness of the Spanish Navy.

This celebration has a long tradition in the province of Malaga and each locality will have a slightly different schedule, so it is best to consult the websites of the town halls concerned.

The city of Malaga has several processions. These take place in El Palo (Saturday), Huelin (Sunday) and in the district of Pedregalejo (Saturday) and El Perchel (Sunday).

Some towns, such as Rincón de la Victoria, Torremolinos (La Carihuela) and Los Boliches, hold a fair to coincide with the celebration.

From July 15 to 17, the Rincón de la Victoria fair will take place, with a program of daytime and nighttime activities in Plaza Al Ándalus, as well as large format concerts in the municipal auditorium.

The La Carihuela fair kicked off on Wednesday and continues through Saturday with a variety of entertainment and religious events; while the Los Boliches festivities, which also started on Wednesday, will continue until Sunday July 17.

It will be the first time in three years that this popular festival will take place at full speed, although some municipalities have made slight changes to their schedules.

As in most towns, the main procession in Benalmádena takes place on Saturday the 16th, although the procession takes a new route along the promenade, which was renamed after the Virgin last year.

Marbella has also introduced an important change compared to previous editions, since the maritime procession will take place in the morning (6:30 a.m.) and not in the afternoon: there are also variations in the land procession, which this year will start from Church of La Encarnación at 8 p.m.

The main festivities of San Pedro will begin on Saturday at 7am with the Rosario de la Aurora; while a mass will take place at 7 p.m. in Calle La Morera, after which the iconic image will embark on its journey.

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