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An Arabian summer ball

The small west coast community of Vale da Telha broke new ground last weekend when an Arabian marquee hosted the area’s inaugural Summer Ball.

More than 220 people attended the event which was created by the local community association, Amovate (the association of residents and friends of Vale da Telha), which is open to people of all nationalities who have links to the area.

The Summer Ball was held in the marquee alongside the pool area of the Vale da Telha hotel, just outside of Aljezur, with music provided by headlining act, the New Orleans Jazz Band.

Amovate, which will also be staging its popular annual Music Festival next month, hopes the Summer Ball will become the annual highlight of the community calendar.

Pam D’Arcy, an Amovate member, suggested the idea. She explained that as Vale da Telha is something of an out-of-the-way community, a 30 minute drive from Lagos and the Algarve’s south coast, she and her friends missed the opportunity to enjoy a quality local evening out at which they could dress in their finest frocks and dance in stylish surroundings.

The association’s committee took this suggestion on board as part of their ‘Amovate in the Community’ project to support local businesses, by holding events not just in their Old Schoolhouse headquarters but also on the premises of local businesses.

The Vale da Telha Hotel gave Amovate use of the marquee for the Ball, and all 220 tickets sold out within two weeks of the first announcement.

Amovate President Peter Johnson said: “The Ball was a social gathering of the type not normally seen in this area, and the local people embraced it enthusiastically.

“Although we are half an hour away from the bright lights of the south coast this is a thriving community always ready to take new ideas on board. And our idea of working with local businesses to help them survive the recession, while having a good night out, is working well,” he concluded.