Elche de la Sierra will once again be covered in sawdust for a few hours to celebrate Corpus Christi on the weekend of June 17-19. Nearly 600 carpet makers will spread some 6,000 kilograms of sawdust across 27 stretches of street and three squares, displaying their designs and sketches at sunrise, before the procession passes over them and, as is tradition, they disappear until next year.
The edition of this 2022, in addition, comes with a novelty, and that is that the municipality will inaugurate the Carpet Museum, where the most ephemeral art of the province will be captured every day of the year. The museum has been made in the patios behind and the cellars of the Casa de las Señoras de Aguado, in the heart of the town.
A heritage building that has been rehabilitated to house the new facilities, in order to prevent its demolition, and where the City Council is already studying other projects in the rest of the rooms.
The inauguration will take place on June 18, at 12:00. Admission will be free for the first month, with the aim that both residents and visitors can enjoy it. That same afternoon, the concert will be held in the historic organ of the Santa Quiteria parish and, after the performance, there will be music and concerts for all tastes, with tributes to Rafael and Rocío Jurado.
At night the preparation of the carpets will begin, which can be enjoyed during the early hours of Saturday to Sunday, before the mass ends and the procession begins.
On the same side, the vice president of the Association of Friends of the Carpets of the Corpus of Elche de la Sierra, Montse Cortes, has been excited about the return. «The carpet makers return with more desire and passion than ever, to show that the tradition is still alive and that we have been able to return after the pandemic».
As indicated by the mayor, an influx of visitors similar to that of 2019 is expected, where nearly 15,000 people came to the town. “Buses from Seville, Córdoba, Madrid, Castilla y León and Extremadura have already confirmed their assistance, and we also expect foreign tourists to visit.”
And it is that the carpets of Elche have the declaration of National Tourist Interest. In this sense, the delegate of the Board in Albacete, Pedro Antonio Ruiz Santos, has highlighted the importance of these awards.
“Since 2015 we have increased the number of declarations we had by a third, now the province has a total of 18 declarations of regional interest, and another five in the process of being processed, five of national interest and three international”, he detailed.
These recognitions, he continued, represent a boost for tourism and the economy. For this reason, the regional government will dedicate the future stand of the Albacete Fair to expose all these statements.
For his part, the president of the Provincial Council, Santiago Cabañero, has highlighted the importance of maintaining the traditions of the province. “Where our roots are, our future is, the future of our peoples has an ancient heart, that is why we must safeguard heritage and traditions, which are also a fundamental tourist resource”, he concluded.