The parade of floats and comparsas is one of the main acts of the program of the major festivals in honor of the Santísima Sangre de Dénia. They are popularly called Cars (in Valencian). The eleven fallas commissions in the city are in charge of making their own floats, which take to the streets on the last Saturday of the week of festivities to fill the city center with color.
The charges of each falla parade at the top of the float, while the rest of the commission accompanies them showing the costumes and animation they have worked on for months.
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The celebration of the float parade in Dénia does not have an exact date, but it is always the second Saturday of parties in the afternoon. The patron saint festivities usually start on the first Saturday in July, and last 9 days, until the Sunday of the following week.
Suspension due to the pandemic
During 2020 and 2021 this parade was canceled, like most traditional events of the Santíssima Sang Festival, due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Parade and competition
The competition is also present in the Dénia float parade. Fallas commissions fight to reach the first float prize and the first comparsa prize that is awarded each year. Unlike the prizes of failuresIn floats there are no sections and all compete equally.
A jury evaluates various aspects of each float such as the design, finish, colors and technique used, while another jury is in charge of evaluating the troupes that each falla has prepared to accompany the float. In this case, the costumes, the theme and the dance are taken into account.
Although prizes are established for large and children's floats, the high cost that the production of two floats entails for each fallera commission has meant that in recent years few commissions have chosen to create two floats. So they take out a single design on the street in which their adult and child positions are grouped.
The history of the parade floats in Dénia dates back to the early twentieth century, but was then called Battle of Flowers. The success of this celebration at the July fair in València led several towns to adapt the festive initiative, which allowed them to show their neighbors the originality and good atmosphere in the parade, in which confetti and streamers were not lacking.
The Battle of Flores
Dénia, Batalla de las Flores joined the celebrations of the Holy Blood, parties that during the Republic became known as Summer Festival. After the Civil War, with very flagging spirits, also he declined the celebration of the Battle of Flowers.
The Fallas take the baton
It was with the birth of the first fallas commissions in the city, in the financial year 1947-1948, when the City Council decided to commission the falleros to make floats for the main festivals. One year later, on July 18, 1949, the four existing faults (Centro, Baix la Mar, Les Roques and Oeste) went through Marqués de Campo, Diana, Magallanes and Carlos Sentí streets, returning to Marqués de Campo for a second round. In addition to the falleras floats, the City Council invited several young people from the municipality to participate in the municipal float. The queen of the festivities that year was Vicenta Bertomeu.
The early years of the Battle of Flowers were a success in Denia, with a population that willingly accepted this new festive event and encouraged the fallas to create elaborate designs for their floats.
Years without floats
In 1951, and due to the deficit suffered by the municipal coffers, the City Council was forced to reduce the festivities to a mass, processions and music on the day of the patronal feast. In 1953 the floats returned to the streets, but this time only the Fallas Centro, Baix la Mar and Les Roques paraded.
Mia Farrow's floats
The year 1958 went down in the history of Dénia as the year of the recording of the American blockbuster Captain Jones, which brought to the city great income and the visit of the director, John Farrow and his wife, actress Maureen O'Sullivan, who were accompanied by their daughter, Mia Farrow. The young woman was proclaimed by the City Council as Queen of the Festivities of that year and participated in all the programming, including the parade of floats through the center of the city.
From the anger of the Fallas to the declaration of a Festival of Provincial Tourist Interest
For a few years, the fallas were separated from the float parade due to the City Council's insistence on changing the date of the fallas celebration, moving it from March to summer. The goal was to turn them into Fogueres (bonfires) as in Alicante.
With the second stage of the Fallas, starting in 1968, normality was resumed in the parade of floats, which grew every year in parallel with the growth of the city's Fallas commissions. Currently the Parade of Floats and Comparsas of the Santísima Sangre festivities are a festival declared of Provincial Tourist Interest and they bring together thousands of people every year along the route.