STAFF REPORTER THE lights of Palma's annual April Fair organised by regional associations from around Spain were switched on during Thursday evening at the Son Rossinyol industrial estate.

The occasion was sparkling in spite of the fact that the economic crisis has halved the amount of marquees this year. Acknowledging the downturn were Palma's Mayor Aino Calvo and President of the Regional Association of Andalucia in the Balearics, Pepe Martinez. Amidst lively dance rhythms, Martinez said that the event will nevertheless go down very well because of the importance that organisers have attached to safety and an atmosphere of family fun where everyone can have a good time.

A number of government figures attended the opening and visited the different marquees, including Central Government delegate, Ramon Socias and the President of the Council of Majorca, Francina Armengol. The Fair is a very colourful event with brightly decorated marquees and women dressed in traditional Andalucian dance costume. Although the opening moments were quite a formal affair, momentum gathered as the night went on and people celebrated in style. Grup Serra which publishes the Majorca Daily Bulletin has its own marquee at the fair offering exquisite tapas prepared by cutting edge chef, Vicente Fortea.