roasted chestnuts

Countdown begins for Portimão’s São Martinho fair

The São Martinho fair in Portimão is the town’s oldest event

It’s almost time for the 360th edition of Portimão’s ‘Feira de São Martinho’ (Saint Martin’s Fair), which will take place between November 3 and 12 at the fairground near Portimão Arena.

Roasted chestnuts, fun rides and merchants selling a wide range of items are some of the most defining features of these autumn fairs in the Algarve.

The origin of the Portimão fair dates back to 1662, making it the oldest event still held in the town.

People of all ages are drawn to the fair every year, be it for the range of rides available (from bumper cars to a Ferris wheel) to the street food served, including the famous roasted chestnuts eaten during this time of year but also ‘farturas’, (fried doughnuts covered in sugar and cinnamon), ‘pão com chouriço’ (bread filled with typical Portuguese chorizo) or roasted octopus.

As in previous years, there will be two themed days during the event which will see exhibitors offering special discounts for children, youngsters, and families: November 8 (in celebration of World Youth Day), aimed at children and youngsters; and November 12, which will be focused on families.

Also making a return is the fair’s car and motorcyle exhibition inside Portimão Arena, which will allow visitors to see a range of new and used vehicles. The exhibition will open at 4pm every day, closing at midnight on November 3, 4, 10 and 11, at 11pm from November 5 to 9, and at 10pm on November 12.

Meanwhile, the fair will open every day at 10am except for the opening day (November 3) when it will begin at 4pm, and will close at midnight every day except on Fridays and Saturday (November 3-4 and 10-11) when it will close an hour later at 1am.

The fair will have two entrances, either through the main fairground entrance near the local bus terminal or the southern entrance near the railway bridge and the town’s riverside sardine restaurants, each with parking.

The local council has also explained that pedestrians and cyclists who usually use the fairground as a path to the riverside and vice-versa will not be able to do so from October 26 to November 4 and from November 12 to 16 due to the assembly and disassembly of the event.

There will also be no monthly market in November, which will return on December 4, nor the usual Antiques Fair, which will be back on December 3 and 17.

By Michael Bruxo

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