A floating pedestrian bridge will once again connect Alcoutim, in the district of Faro, and Sanlúcar de Guadiana, in the Spanish province of Huelva, as the Smuggling Festival returns to its original format, between 24 and March 26.

The festival, which returns to the border towns separated by the Guadiana river, includes the installation of the bridge, which will once again allow visitors to pass on foot between Portugal and Spain, said the mayor of Alcoutim, Osvaldo Gonçalves.

“The Smuggling Festival is and has conquered in a short time an important place in the set of regional events and, in Alcoutim, it has an enormous relevance because it is the great cultural event of the year, at the level of the Alcoutim Festivities, although with different audiences and environments ”, said the president of the Algarve municipality.

Osvaldo Gonçalves highlighted the “very relevant role” that the festival has, after having “become born through a support partnership in which 365 was fundamental in its start”, granting the financial support necessary to boost and give dimension to the event.

The mayor regretted, however, that the end of the 365 Algarve cultural program had left the festival without this support and classified the loss of funding as “a betrayal”, which he hopes to be able to be corrected with the granting of other support.

“We have already made this appeal to the official entities and we have the expectation that we may still be awarded some support, but at this moment we have nothing yet”, he noted.

Despite this loss of funding, the municipalities of Alcoutim and Sanlúcar maintained their commitment to the Festival, which will resume post-pandemic normality with “small markets and street entertainment”, but with “the floating bridge as the great link between the two towns”.

"We ended up financing it ourselves, but there is an expectation that we can have some support from Turismo de Portugal and the Tourism Region", said the mayor, who has already appealed to the Government for the funding of this event to be recovered as quickly as possible.

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