The article here on the Almería 360 site has details of the regional government recognising the San Marcos event in April each year in El Ejido as a tourist event.

The article also provides a little bit of history about the event.

Read More for a Google translation of the article.


The Fiestas of San Marcos de El Ejido, declared of Tourist Interest in Andalusia

    A recognition of the effort of the town "to improve and strengthen its identity", as stated by the territorial tourism delegate, José Luis Delgado. Those of San Marcos are parties that are celebrated on the last weekend of April and its origin dates from the beginning of the 20th century in Las Dalias.

The Junta de Andalucía has declared the Fiestas de San Marcos de El Ejido of Tourist Interest. This distinction has been published this Wednesday in the BOJA, which includes the process carried out by the City Council of El Ejido to achieve this recognition that highlights “its special importance as an Andalusian tourist resource”.

The delegate of Tourism, Regeneration, Justice and Local Administration of the Board in Almeria, José Luis Delgado, stressed that “the declaration of Tourist Interest is a recognition by the Andalusian Government of the effort made by the people of El Ejido to improve and strengthen your identity by building among all the doors from which we can receive tourists who want to share our party. ”

The Fiestas de San Marcos are celebrated the last weekend of April and its origin dates from the early twentieth century in Las Dalías. But it was not until 1956 when a group of friends set out to organize a procession in honor of San Marcos in El Ejido. The purchase of an image was then managed for 3,000 pesetas, which were paid by all the neighbors, and that is why they make it their own.

The party, which in its last edition brought together more than 38,000 attendees, has evolved greatly since its inception. Currently three traditional elements are maintained. The mayordomos of the saint, the sale of donuts and the participation of animals in the party, where the horse parade stands out, in which up to 600 riders have participated.

The main day is Sunday that begins with the purchase of donuts - of which more than 15,000 units are made -, which are acquired as an amulet against family misfortunes and as a source of health. Subsequently, the Mass is celebrated in honor of the patron of the beasts and, once finished, travels through the streets of El Ejido carried by a tractor.

To the tradition are added other types of artistic and cultural events such as sports championships, equestrian exhibitions, bullfighting, the San Marcos Rock music festival, a medieval market, the bean festival or the popular float parade with vindictive airs, which in recent years has aroused great expectation.

The City Council asked the Ministry the statement on October 31 last year and the Delegation of Tourism of Almeria issued its report at the end of April 2019.

In May, the General Secretariat for Tourism was the body that also ruled in favor of the declaration. Hence the file passed to the Andalusian Tourism Council, which issued a positive opinion the same month of May, which gave rise to the formal proposal once the fulfillment of the requirements and criteria demanded was recognized.