Feira Popular to be in Chelas

LISBON’S FEIRA Popular has a new home – ending months of wrangling over its future location. The funfair ground, which was closed two years ago, is to be set up at Bela Vista Park in Chelas, where Rock in Rio-Lisboa was held in June 2004.

The decision, announced by Lisbon Câmara President Pedro Santana Lopes recently, puts pay to months of speculation that the fair would be sited in Monsanto Park or the dockside Jardim do Tabaco.

The news was broken to journalists by the Câmara President during an official presentation at the Alvito children’s playground in Monsanto, only days before he is due to suspend his official functions in Lisbon’s top job.

According to Santana Lopes, the new fair will be up and running by next summer. He said Monsanto Park was a strong candidate, but there was significant opposition from local pressure groups. Other possible sites muted had been the Jardim do Tabaco near Santa Apolónia station and the fish docks (Docapesca), both on land owned and run by the Port of Lisbon.

“There was never any perfect solution but I believe this to be the best,” said Santana Lopes. He added the hope that the new site would reach a consensus of agreement, saying that he knew one of the candidates for the local elections in Lisbon was in favour of the site. Santana Lopes also added that his vice president Carmona Rodrigues – widely tipped to be the next Social Democrats Party (PSD) Mayor of Lisbon – was also aware of the option, which had been muted during his own mayoralty before the national elections last year.

The new proposed site was presented in a public meeting of the Câmara at the beginning of the month.