Record crowd of 25,000 at Portimão’s Sardine Festival

Historic attendance levels were recorded at the opening of the 25thSardine Festival in Portimão on Wednesday, August 7, with 25,000 people descending on the town for a veritable sardine extravaganza which has become so synonymous with summer in the Algarve.

Among the crowds was prime minister António Costa who is enjoying time off in the Algarve and “did not want to miss the opportunity to taste the charcoal-grilled sardines, boiled potatoes and salad” that the festival is famous for, the local council said in a press statement.

Other high-profile guests included sea minister Ana Paula Vitorino, internal administration minister Eduardo Cabrita, secretary of state for fisheries José Apolinário and MPs João Vasconcelos, Jamila Madeira, Ana Passos and Luís Graça.

The highlight of the night was a performance by Amor Electro, which just hours earlier had heard the news that their original bass player had passed away.

The Sardine Festival is taking place until Sunday.

One big change this year is that most of the festivities are taking place near the Clube Naval de Portimão, such as the concerts. Stalls selling ‘sardinha no pão’ (sardine on bread) are also located near the CNP.

This year, seven restaurants are taking part: À Ravessa, Casa Bica, Forte e Feio, O Meco, Retiro do Peixe Assado, Ú Venâncio and Zizá.

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Prime Minister António Costa (right, in blue shirt) waiting to be served his plate of grilled sardines