Friends, Food, and Fireworks: Las Fiestas de San Isidro

Nick Sheppard
May 21, 2019

A Ferris wheel that seemed to be going just a hair too fast, mountains of cotton candy wherever you turned your head, and a fireworks display for the ages.  What the heck am I on about? All will be explained in this brief snapshot of my time at Las Fiestas de San Isidro.

Quick lesson: San Isidro is the patron saint of Madrid, and every year the city hosts a series of concerts and other community events at various locations from May 10th-15th, the 15th actually being the Día Festivo de San Isidro.  Now that we’re all on the same page, the whole thing was a last-minute decision for me.  I was at dinner with my friends in the Colegio when they mentioned a fireworks show that was going to happen at midnight in Parque de San Isidro that night.  The second I heard fireworks the six-year-old in me took control and it was a done deal. We got changed, grabbed our metro cards, and skirted on out.

We step out of the station around 11:15 p.m. and book it to the park.  We’re greeted by the dazzling carnival ride lights and the delightful din of the crowd.  No time was wasted in making our way toward the stage where the last band of the five days of concerts is finishing its set.  Crisscrossing through the crowd, glittery carnival rides that looked like attractions I’ve seen at the rodeo (teehee Texas boy here) and various food stands selling tasty treats from morcilla and calamares fritos to cotton candy passed us by.  There were of course carnival games like I’m sure you’ve all seen before, but there was one particular booth that made me stop and laugh: bingo. Yep, ordinary madrileños of all ages were waiting excitedly to win prizes like Italian-style pressed coffee makers and irons.

After all that passed us by and a pitstop to play on some park exercise equipment, we waded our way as close to the stage as we could and jumped around until the last drum fill. Then the crowd’s collective attention turned toward our left. The fireworks!  We again assumed the serpentine movements to get as clear a view as possible and oh. my. god. I kid you not when I say that this fireworks show may have been the best one I’ve ever seen. 4th of July?  Yawn. New Year’s Eve? Mmmm don’t know her.  San Isidro was where it was at! Something about the way they found a way to utilize my entire field of vision and the ebb and flow of good to spectacular light displays made it really special. Maybe it was just the feeling I got enjoying this visual candy in a city I’ve grown so attached to with friends I’ve come to love.  Sounds sappy I know, but I nearly shed a tear while watching!

The moment the last firecracker went, well, crack, the police started corralling everyone to the exits.  We had just enough time to grab a snack at one of the food booths sponsored by one of Spain’s political parties. I know, a little weird, but wouldn’t you consider your vote just a tad more carefully if a political party handed you a tasty bocadillo?  Just for thought. (I had to!)  We headed back to the metro cause we all had tests that week, but jammed some great times into a small window.  ¡Happy belated Festivo de San Isidro to Madrid!  Thanks for the memories. Besos!


Nick Sheppard

<p>Hiya, beautiful people! I'm Nick Sheppard: a guy who dances in public like it was his bedroom and sings as loud on the street as he does in the shower. I like my steaks medium rare, my go-carts fast, my mornings early, and my nails done. If you're looking for a hug and a smile, I'm your girl. But, <em>cuidado</em>, if you make me laugh, I am a cackler. I'm a firm believer in positivity and never, ever, never ever ever<br>saying "I'm tired". So listen up, children! You might just have a good time.</p>

2019 Spring
Home University:
University of Texas - Austin
Houston, TX
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