With the warmer weather, spring springs into action with a whole array of events this month. On the 1st Funchal pays homage to its patron saint, São Tiago Menor (St. James the Lesser). Centred, around the old town (Zona Vellha) the entertainment is both lively and traditional with the highlight being the procession honouring the patron saint himself. Of course, one of the most significant events of this month and the event calendar is the Madeira Flower Festival held between the 2nd and 26th of May. This vibrant, highly entertaining event includes the Children’s Parade on the 4th, the not to be missed Flower Festival Float Parade on the 5th, which will also be broadcast live on the Funchal Marina Live Webcam and the Madeira Flower Collection fashion show which takes place on the 11th at the Praça do Povo.
Carrying on with the vibrant theme is the Maktub Soundsgood in Paul do Mar on the 4th. This reggae festival is just perfect for those who want to relax and listen to great music in a beautiful coastal setting. Over the weekend of the 11th and 12th, Madeira will be hosting the Madeira Enduro World Series 2019, while the islands stunning, and demanding terrain will be challenging the competitors to the limit of their endurance. The relatively new music festival Fica na Cidade takes place from the 17th until the 23rd. This eight-day event brings together 150 performers in four different locations around Funchal. And with forty concerts playing everything from Pop, Rock and Jazz music aficionados will be on fire. On the 18th Madeira will be celebrating ‘International Museum Day’ with this year’s theme being ‘Museums as Cultural Hubs.’ With free entry, extended opening hours and night events, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Caniço hosts its very popular and lively Onion Festival between the 17th and 19th. In addition to all thing’s onion, there is an onion parade, auction and of course plenty of lively non-onion entertainment. Staying with food, the annual Trout and Cider Festival takes place between the 22nd and 26th. Although cider and trout may seem an unlikely combination, the municipality of Santana has created a unique event including trout fishing competitions, food tastings and cider making demonstrations.
Returning to music, the Aleste Festival, alternative music event is held on the weekend of the 24th to 26th at the Barreirinha Bathing Complex in Funchal. Its popularity has attracted performers such as Danish group Who Made Who, American Bitchin Bajas, Celeste Mariposa and Sensible Soccers. The annual Book Fair takes place between the 24th and 2nd of June. Held in various locations around the centre of Funchal, the book fair comprises of book launches, concerts, exhibitions and of course books. Who knows what little treasure you may find? Classic car enthusiasts will be bowled over with the Madeira Classic Car Revival, which takes place on the 25th to 26th. Held at the Praça do Povo, the event is open to all cars, motorbikes and bicycles made before 1980. This year’s competition programme also includes ‘Best Epoque Outfit.’ On the 26th the Rampa dos Barreiros takes place. This sports car race pays tribute to the first historical car race held in Madeira in 1935.
Music, dance, art, sculpture, theatre and photography are all part of the Ponta do Sol ‘Aqui Acolá’ event which aims to highlight the talent of the people living in the area from the 30th May to the 2nd of June. We end the month with two sporting activities. The annual School Sports Festival takes place at the Marítimo Stadium between the 28th and 31st and includes the very magical gymnastic show comprising of 1,800 participants aged from 8 until 90 years old, while the Skyrunner World Series and the Skyrunner National Series Spain, Andorra & Portugal takes place from the 31st May to the 1st of June. The event comprises of four races, the Madeira Sky Race, the Santana Vertical Kilometer, Santana Sky Race and the ‘Furão Sky Race’ Laurissilva Forest.