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Local News in Ibiza

Local News
by Louise Wright

Ibiza Covered by Ice

Ibiza Local News

For the first time in history, a large part of Ibiza will be covered by a sheet of ice. This is not a freak meteorological condition but part of Ibiza Town's Christmas activities.

Inside a 1,800 square metre temperature regulated marquee there will be 1,200 square metre ice-skating rink.

This temporary rink will be situated in the car park in calle Murcia and will be opened to the public from 15th December to 15th January.

For the first time, this will enable Ibiza residents to enjoy the thrills and spills of ice-skating.

The rink will be opened every day from 10:30am to 13:30pm and in the evening from 16:30pm to 22:00pm and for 1,000 pesetas (6 Euros) an hour you will be able to hire skates and have a go on the ice.

The Town Hall of Ibiza is spending 22 million pesetas on the temporary ice-skating rink, which will include a café and a first aid post.

Gesa (Ibiza's Electricity Company) will supply the electricity to the marquee free of charge and Pacha discotheque will supply and equip the marquee with a state of the art sound and lighting system.

The Lord Mayor of Ibiza Town, Xico Tarrés, expressed how content he was with this new project and hoped that, if successful, it could be repeated every year.

Any money made this year will be used to benefit sporting facilities on the island.

This is one of many projects Ibiza has planned for the holiday season.

This years festivities will commence on Thursday 6th December with the switching-on of the Christmas lights, the opening of the Christmas craft fair in Vara de Rey (Ibiza's Town Square) and, on a special stage erected close to the craft market, the Red Cross will sponsor a musical concert.

On 17th, 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st at 17:30, Christmas carols will be sang by the children's choir of Ibiza in Can Ventosa Cultural Centre.

On 22nd December at 12:00, the inauguration ceremony of the huge nativity scene will take place in Vara de Rey.

At 10:30 in the morning on 28th December, a treasure hunt will commence from Dalt Vila (Ibiza Old Town). This is a fun day out for all the family with the winners receiving prizes in the evening.

New Year's Eve celebrations will take place in the Recinto Ferial (Ibiza's Fair and Exhibition Centre), where activities for all ages will take place.

There will be free entrance to the Recinto Ferial and two orchestras, one from Ibiza and the other from Valencia, will entertain revellers through the night until it's time for the traditional breakfast of "chocolate y churros" (drinking chocolate accompanied by a sweet finger pastry). This year the breakfast will be brought forward from 8 o'clock in the morning to 5 o'clock in the afternoon so that younger members of the family won't have to stay up so late.

Then the big one that children of the island all look forward to is the procession of the "Reyes Magos" (Three Kings) from the port of Ibiza on the night of 5th January.

This is traditionally the night when children all over Spain receive presents from the Three Wise Men.

Last year, the procession, which makes its way from the port of Ibiza through the town, consisted of 350 people and several floats.

Sandra Mayans, Public Festivities councillor, said: "This year there will be up to 450 people participating and we are spending more money on floats and decorations".

In all, Ibiza Town Hall will spend a total of 24 million pesetas on this year's festivities.

Vara De Rey Closed To Traffic

As most of the Christmas activities are concentrated in Vara de Rey, Ibiza Council inaugurated a new project last weekend designed to turn the town square into a safer place.

Vara de Rey remained closed to all traffic from 14:00pm on Saturday until midnight on Sunday.

According to Xico Tarrés, Ibiza Town's Lord Mayor, the aim of the new project is to create a proper meeting place for Ibiza residents without the disturbance of cars or motorbikes.

The architects who designed Vara de Rey in the 1970s wanted to pave the whole area, blocking entrance to all traffic.

With this new project, Ibiza's Council will have the chance to decide whether blocking the Town Square off to traffic on a permanent basis would benefit the residents.

So far Ibiza's Council feels that it's beneficial that the residents for walking, cycling, skating, etc are using the centre of the town.

For the time being, Vara de Rey will remain closed to traffic every weekend until the Council makes a permanent decision.

Trees Destroyed In Ses Salines

The Public Minister has denounced the destruction of pine and sabina trees in the area of Can Carabassó, which is in the Nature Reserve of ses Salines and is classified as a highly protected area.

A 50 year-old man is now facing up to two years in jail as a result of his actions. He employed a company in February this year to clear an area of 6,000 to 7,000 square metres in order to build a car park beside the restaurant "Mar y Sal".

In total 66 pine trees and 61 sabina trees destroyed but as the Public Minister says: "This is not only about the loss of the trees; it will have a negative effect on the whole environment".

It's good to see that the Public Minister is taking action against people who indiscriminately destroy the natural beauty of the island.

The man will appear in court in the near future.

Economical Help After Weather Destruction

With so much damage caused in the recent storms, the Home Councillor, Josep María Costa, held a meeting on Monday 3rd December with representatives from most of Ibiza's Town Halls to discuss how much money is needed to repair the damage caused by the period of extreme weather in November.

The Home Councillor met with the Lord Mayors of San Antonio and San Juan and a representative from the Ibiza Town Hall. The Lord Mayors of San José and Santa Eulalia failed to attend the meeting.

Each person who suffered serious loses as a result of the storms has to present an application form to the Consell Insular (Island Council) before 20th December so that the Town Halls can assess their claims.

The Town Halls agreed on how difficult it is checking every single case and the great amount of time this will consume.

The delegates at the meeting agreed with the Consell Insular that a provisional sum of 7,900 million pesetas is set-aside for immediate use.

The Home Councillor will ask the Government to approve this figure by next week so that people can start getting back to normal.

"We hope that now the Government will realise that the Balearic Isles need an emergency plan in place to deal with future extreme weather conditions", said the Home Councillor, who will be meeting with representatives from Cataluña, Valencia, Balearics and Canary Isles on 12th December to discuss future measures against extreme weather conditions.

New Ideas For Old Bull Fighting Ring

The Town Hall of Ibiza is preparing a second project for the space where the old bull-fighting ring used to stand, after the first project to turn it into shops failed.

The Sports Councillor, Roque López, explained: "The Town Hall doesn't want the old bull ring to be turned into a building specializing in one thing. Our idea is to create an open space where different activities can take place".

The area will be partly dedicated to sporting activities for children.

Roque López says that "whatever is done to the old bullring will be better than it is now".

Lets hope that they can come to a decision soon and commence work as this area has long been a black spot in Ibiza Town.

Rias Baixas

When our most experienced colleague paid us a visit on the island last month and we all met for the first time, we went to his favourite restaurant Rías Baixas in San Antonio and what a good choice it was.

Since our visit, Rías Baixas has been selected as one of the 25 best restaurants in Spain and awarded a gold plate by the Radio Turismo (Radio of Tourism).

I would like to congratulate Rías Baixas on receiving this award and also congratulate Sinclair on his ability to pick out a top-class restaurant. Well done to both of you!

Louise Wright