Thousands of people dressed in white and with red scarves have given the welcome in a crowded Pamplona Town Hall squareto the Sanfermines 2022 with a massive chupinazo, despite the rain that has marked the return of the party after two years of hiatus due to the pandemic.
Former soccer player Juan Carlos Unzué, in charge of lighting the fuse of the chupinazo at noon, has dedicated the chupinazo “to all the toilets, and the people who have helped us throughout the pandemic and also to all patients with ALS, especially Moncho”, before pronouncing the traditional words: “Long live San Fermín, Gora San Fermín!”.
“The feeling is that I have experienced many moments of pressure, of important games, but always with the feeling that it could be repeated, this is not going to be repeated, this is unique and unrepeatable”, said Unzué in statements to the press just a few minutes before the chupinazo.
After the suspensions of 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, these are the most anticipated Sanfermines in history with a message that the Pamplona City Council wants to convey to those who arrive in the city these days: “Welcome to the biggest parties in the world“.
A device of 2,500 agents
A device made up of 2,500 agentsbetween the National Police, the Civil Guard, the Municipal Police and the Provincial Police, ensures that everything runs smoothly during this first day of the festivities, with a novelty, four drones that fly over the crowded area.
Juan Carlos Unzué himself went to the Pamplona City Council this Monday to prepare the chupinazo and during his visit he took the opportunity to greet and hold a brief meeting with the mayor of Pamplona, Enrique Maya. Since he made it public in 2020 that he suffered from ALS, Unzué has become a benchmark in raising awareness and fighting this disease, starring in campaigns, talks, documentaries and books in which he recounts in first person his coexistence with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
With the attendance of thousands of people at the chupinazo in the town hall square or in the four points equipped with giant screens (in the Plaza del Castillo, the Paseo de Sarasate, the Antoniutti park and the Plaza de los Fueros) the traditions of each July 6: lunches in bars, restaurants and improvised places, the street atmosphere, the food, the Riau-Riau, the bulls and the dinners.
The image of San Fermín that during the year remains placed in Santo Domingo and the glass door that guards it has already been removed this Tuesday at 8:30 a.m. from the niche that presides over the slope.
The festivities return with a program with 532 acts
These parties, which have a budget of 1.7 million euros, have a official program with a total of 532 official acts, the first of them, after the chupinazo, the Biribilketa de Gainza, which will be performed in the town hall square by La Pamplonesa and the txistularis. For more than 40 years, this piece has been performed inside the entrance hall of the City Hall due to the large turnout of the public in the square.
From that moment begins a wide repertoire of concerts, festivals, fireworks, exhibitions, street entertainment and children’s and family activities. Nor will there be a lack of traditional events such as the running of the bulls, the Procession, the Vespers or the Eighth.
There is also no shortage of rural sports and festivals and concerts of all kinds in various parts of the city, in addition to musical entertainment in the streets of Pamplona, which is where the party is truly created day by day in an improvised way. .
After two years without parties due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Pamplona have welcomed the Sanfermines with the traditional pre-chupinazo lunch that not even the rain that has fallen since 8 in the morning has prevented it from being carried out. Crews and families have gone to clubs, societies and bars to have lunch from early in the morning.
already at dawn a hailstorm threatened Pamplonabut after two years of suspension there is nothing to stop the thousands of people who are already flooding the Casco Viejo.
Due to the suspensions of 2020 and 2021, these will be the first Sanfermines for the Government of Navarra led by the socialist María Chivite, who has invited everyone to enjoy the festivities with “respect and coexistence”.