Valencia’s July Fair: An Amalgamation of Tourism and Bulls

Valencia July Fair 2024

The July Fair in Valencia is a cultural offer with all kinds of events, with bullfighting as the main protagonist.

oferta cultural feria de julio de valencia
Valencia July Fair. Falleras at the Battle of Flowers

The July Fair was once the great Bullfighting Fair of the year in Valencia. In the mid-70s of the last century, the Fallas cycle began to rise until it became what it is today, the benchmark bullfighting series of the city of Turia. However, the July Fair (or San Jaime) never stopped being celebrated.

With fewer posters, a more reduced format, but without losing its idiosyncrasy or its identity, as it concentrates tourism and bulls in the same package, in the year 24, the company Nautalia has presented a concentrated but enticing cycle in the four dates that make up the program.

With bulls as a lure and the sea as an incentive, a novillada (bullfight with young bulls) kicks off on Thursday 18 where the great local promise, Nek Romero, is announced to take the alternative within three months in this same ring, along with two other bullfighters who have shown ample signs of their projection and who will also become matadors in the coming weeks: Jarocho and Samuel Navalón. The cattle belong to Curro Núñez, from an illustrious cattle-raising family, who announces his products as Núñez de Tarifa.

Friday 19 is the turn of Morante de la Puebla and Juan Ortega. Hand in hand with the bullfighting of great singing. With feeling and inspiration. Both come to the bullring of Calle de Xàtiva to reissue successes not so far in time. And as a prologue, the performance of the best rejoneador (horseback bullfighter) of today: Diego Ventura. The bulls? From Los Espartales for horseback bullfighting and from Cuvillo for the duel of artists.

The figures disembark on Saturday 20: Castella, Manzanares and Talavante. A round poster, with a finish, that contradicts a lot those who assure that the posh bullfighters do not come to Valencia on these dates. There is the proof. Bulls are announced from two distinguished brands of the brave field, El Pilar and Victoriano del Río, so that the combination is round, wherever you look at it.

The cycle closes on Sunday 21 another hand in hand of bullfighters very linked to this land and this bullring: Paco Ureña and Román. Both have enjoyed and suffered in their flesh the two faces of this profession. And both have had plenty of breed and hobby to continue on the path, despite the roughness of the road. He acts as judge of the contest a bullfight of Santiago Domecq, undoubtedly the most fashionable cattle ranch in recent times, for the ability to amalgamate caste and race, with class and nobility. There are the results.

But, the July Fair would not be such without the unboxing ‘desencajonada’, undoubtedly the reference show and the main claim of the program. On Wednesday 17, as always at night, the bulls listed for the subscription will jump into the ring, in a unique show, of great color, which every year fills the Levantine bullring to the brim.

A contest of bullfighters with fire bulls completes the offer of this singular day, one of the most traditional of the season, not only of Valencia, but of the entire bullfighting calendar. Model and example of other squares, that of Valencia remains unscathed watching time go by. Like the fair of which it is part.

José Miguel Arruego

Bullfighting journalist