The main novelty of the Christmas celebration in Santa Cruz is that “it can be celebrated with total normality”. At least that is how the Councilor for Fiestas, Alfonso Cabello, sees it, for which, this Christmas, it will be the first since his party came to the Mayor’s Office, which he will be able to organize without any restrictions. Within this normality, the team of the Autonomous Organization of Festivities and Recreational Activities works “with care” and with “great enthusiasm” in a Christmas program that includes more activities, more markets and more shows to dynamize and set the Christmas scene. “It seems that we are finally going to have the Three Kings Parade on its traditional route, with the return of the public to the stadium for the reception of their Majesties, and we are going to be able to live a Christmas the way we all like it,” says Cabello.
A Christmas period that, he advances, “will start on November 23 (one day before the lights go on) with a little surprise that we are preparing with some designers and those linked to the commercial sector, and from there, a program linked to the five districts, that will be marked by working along two clear lines, traditions on the one hand, and work in the surroundings of the 14 commercial areas of the city, on the other, with children as protagonists”.
Cabello points out that with the lighting of the Christmas lighting, they want to go a little further than the format that has been followed until now. “We are working with special care on turning on the Christmas lights, which has become a benchmark, and that is why we are working in an almost mini-gala format. We want to transform it into something else.”
As for the revitalization activities, such as the traditional markets, the mayor of Fiestas details that “we are proposing different markets around Christmas. Undoubtedly, the Rastro will be the protagonist on January 5, which returns with force after the restrictions. We will also have the already traditional space of the Alameda del Duque Santa Elena, and this year we added a new one, in the surroundings of the La Concepción church square, with a slightly more different, modern format, linked to music, more than first of the year”.
Cabello details, that in general, “we are working on the configuration of the shows, hand in hand with the artistic director Javier Caraballero, doing everything with great care, and taking care of the details”.
The recovery of the traditional Ride implies that the format used these years of restrictions for the districts disappears. “The only environment that might have something different would be that of Anaga, which may not be the same day but it would be something special with the pages, but we are still seeing if we can do it. In general, we are going to work with dynamic activities the previous days with the royal pages in all the districts, but we believe that the tradition of the Cavalcade with its route and the stadium with that full capacity, that not even the final of the champions, are the main acts of our Christmas and we must give it the prominence it deserves”, defends the mayor.
A protagonism that, for example, involves renewing the entire Parade costumes. “We are going to make an important investment in this sense because all the suits have suffered a lot in these three years of storage. I have already signed the contracts so that the dresses can begin to be made.”
As for the show at the Heliodoro Rodríguez López stadium, as every year, work will be done with the choreographic groups, rehearsing in pavilions “to set foot in the stadium on the same day that Their Majesties arrive”.
Packed, poinsettias with shopping tickets, a toy library so that parents can do their shopping in peace, and various activities to revitalize shopping areas complete the design of a Christmas in which concerts such as the Christmas at the Port Authority or that of Cantadores and Disney in the Plaza de La de la Candelaria. “We are preparing an ambitious program that grows with respect to previous years in the number of activities, in markets, in lights and sounds, but above all, the main novelty is to return to normality,” explained Cabello.
But without a doubt, one of the most important parts of this Christmas period resides in the commercial sector, which, as confirmed by Cabello, has expressed concern about the economic situation. “They are somewhat concerned about the slowdown in consumption, which is normal, since people tend to delay their purchases until December, making them coincide with those of Reyes”, explains the councilor, who recalls that “there are sectors such as of the toys or the perfumery that makes 70% of its sales in these months”. “For this reason -he continues- people between the uncertainty and the slowdown in purchases, it is logical that there is concern. That is why we are working hand in hand with shopping areas to promote purchases with dynamic activities, which are demanded of us in each place”.
To this we must add some problems that, the mayor admits, affect both the business itself and the organization. “We are facing a Christmas marked by the increase in costs and transport delays and conditions, which we suffered in a significant way. We are finding that it is difficult to find material such as LED or sound screens, because during the two years of the pandemic, many small companies in the field of culture had to get rid of a lot of material to survive. So we work with pressure, but also with great enthusiasm to ensure that this Christmas is everything normal that, after three years, it has to be, “concludes the mayor.