A record 100,000 people descended on Portimão last week for the 25th Sardine Festival, which was held along the town’s riverside between August 7 and 11.
Not even Portimão mayoress Isilda Gomes could have predicted the historic attendance levels. Thousands eagerly found their way to the town to taste its famous grilled sardines.
“I never expected so many people to take part in the festival, which on several occasions ran out of sardines,” Gomes said.
The mayor described the event as a “huge success, especially when we compare it to last year’s festival which welcomed 50,000 people, a number that we more than doubled this year. This alone proves the success of the festival, which surpassed our highest expectations”.
Isilda Gomes attributed part of the success to the event’s new format and location, as the concerts and stalls were moved to a larger area near the Clube Naval de Portimão (CNP).
“During the festival, I ran into many locals who were very proud and praised the decision to change the location, which is larger and safer and where families can walk around at ease,” she said, adding that the musical line-up and the work of local associations that manned the stalls also contributed to the festival’s resounding success.
The mayoress believes that the festival is a “magnificent demonstration of the best that Portimão has to offer to those who visit us, which encourages us to raise the bar for next year”.
Isilda Gomes confirmed that the event will take place in the same spot again next year, with the goal being to feature more local craftspeople and more entertainment.