Pictured above: Succulent Flower – a painting by Pauleen Micallef, one of the artists who will have a stall set up at this festa
Following the tremendous success of the past two years, this national folklore event at St. Julian’s, so called “Il-Festa ta’ Lapsi”, is going to be held again on Thursday 6th June (eve of a public holiday),
In the past, this St. Julian’s folklore event was so popular with Maltese and Gozitans on the same lines as its still popular the Imnarja event, held annually at Buskett gardens. Those who still remember these years, say that thousands used to come over to Spinola Bay for “Il-Festa ta’ Lapsi”.
From documents which were revealed, we learnt also that this particular event was already popular around 500 years ago. Infact, documents reveal that the Grandmaster of the Order of the Knights of St. John used to attend this annual national event and stay at his own palace overlooking Spinola Bay, the palace which is still known to us, as Spinola Palace.
The St. Julian’s Local Council decided to go for another edition of this annual event and even create once again the re-anactment of the Grandmaster’s annual visit.
St. Julian’s Bay and promenade will be transformed once again into a folkloristic village. This year, a record of around 60 exhibitors will set up their stands and demonstrate their skills in local artisan trades and even local agricultural products. These stands will be distributed along Spinola Bay and will remain open till midnight on the day. There will be stands of filigree, art, clay statues, wood sculpture, stone sculpture, egg art, glass painting, lace, jewels and accessories, ceramics, the Maltese clock, embroidery, wooden frames, soaps from natural ingredient, and also others with agricultural products such as Maltese cheeslets, sundried tomatoes, olive oil, capers, honey, etc.
There will be also food stalls selling Maltese traditional food, pizza, fresh fruit, nougat, traditional sweets and local wines. Apart from that, a local traditional farm with decorated carts and even animals will be set up near the seafront. The whole venue will be fully decorated with large flags and banners with the Grandmasters coat of arms. Upon sunset the seafront will be lit up with hundreds of “fjakkoli” to create a magical atmosphere.
Along Spinola Bay there will be musicians with traditional instruments and folk dancers interracting with the general public. Everyone can even enjoy free of charge, a ride on a Maltese traditional cab around the venue .
Activities kick off at 18.30 hrs when all stands will be opened and there will be the town crier re-anactment, announcing the visit of the Grandmaster for the festivities.
At 19.00 hrs, there will be the arrival of all folk groups and musicians. These will arrive on traditional cabs and will be accompanied by traditional decorated carts. Between 19.30 hrs and 21.30 hrs, folk shows will be held on two different stages by Tal-Fuklar Folk Group and Mnarja Folk Group.
The highlight of the event will be for sure the grand historical re-anactment which will be presented by the Malta Tourism Authority, with the participation of around 90 actors wearing epic costumes. Special effects will enhance this re-anactment especially with the use of horses and other animals, firing of muscots and cannons, etc. This historical re-anactment will recall the annual visit of the Grandmaster for this event in the past. The re-anactment will start from Spinola Palace at 20.15 hrs where there will be a soldiers parade up to Spinola Bay. Over there, the Grandmaster which will arrive by a boat, will be given a warm welcome with folk dancing, etc. From there, the Grandmaster will march triumphally to his Palace. This re-anactment will have a live commentary by George Peresso.
Street theatre will be also continuous during this event, There will be small re-anactments showing the Maltese life during the Knight’s period, In Guardia parades, falconers, etc. The St. Julian’s Band and the Spinola Band will march around the venue playing popular festa tunes.
Spectacular folklore shows will continue till midnight with the participation of local entertainers such as Joe & Veronica Farrugia, Greenfields, Enzo Gusman, Ivan Spiteri Lucas, Neville Refalo, Miriam Christine, Debbie Scerri, J Anvil and the Spiteri Lucas Live Band.
“Il-Festa ta’ Lapsi 2013” is being organised by the St. Julians Local Council and co-ordinated by Leon Promotions in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Government and the Malta Tourism Authority.