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Fira de Novembre de Vilanova i la Geltrú: the biggest open-air fair in Catalonia

3 reasons to visit Fira de Novembre

  • You won’t be bored. There will be concerts of all styles, an exhibition of classic motorbikes in the shop windows, talks on photovoltaic self-consumption, country line dancing, free guided tours of the museums…
  • A great gastronomic plan. In addition to the food and drink exhibitors taking part in the Fira, DesTaPa Vilanova is a tapas route linked to emblematic points of the city.
  • Children’s activities. Video game creation workshops, entertainment shows, hot air balloon rides… the kids will have a great time.

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the reinstatement of the Fira de Novembre, the organisers have asked the public to participate and the response has been enormous. Many local residents have contributed photographs, experiences and memories that show how this multi-sector fair is part of the city’s collective memory. All this material will form part of the activities that will commemorate this year’s anniversary of the recovery of the event.

Right from its poster, the Fira de Novembre 2021 claims its 30 years of modern history. The next edition of the Fira de Novembre, which this year 2021 will be held on the 12th, 13th and 14th, will have a strong focus on the recent history of the event.

Espai30, living history

The Espai30, located in Plaça de les Neus, will be a historical retrospective that will show with photographs and other elements how the Fira has evolved and adapted to the times, consolidating itself as one of the main events of the year and a great boost and projection for Vilanova i la Geltrú as the economic capital of the south of Barcelona.

Actions will be carried out to remember and recover the historical references of the Fira and how the people of Vilanova and Vilanova have experienced it over the years.

There will be a spherical exhibition of all the posters and graphic images of each of the editions of the modern history of the Fira de Novembre, since its revival in 1991. A curious walk through recent history to see how we have all changed in terms of colours, images, messages…

The photographic exhibition “Fem Memòria, Fem Fira” will bring together a collection of images contributed by the people of Vilanova to preserve the memory and the historical memory of the Fira de Novembre. Different exhibition mosaics will show moments, places, events, stands, visitors, guests… It will be a space for citizens to share and enjoy images and memories of the recent past, while demonstrating how the Fira is a popular event that is experienced and shared by all the inhabitants of Vilanova i la Geltrú.

In addition, an illustrated chronological chart will review the 640 years of history of the Fira de Novembre, and there will also be an audiovisual presentation and a stage with live music.

The origins of the Fira de Novembre date back to the Middle Ages.

A hybrid fair

After a 2020 edition in which the Fira was 100% virtual due to the pandemic, this 2021 the event adopts a hybrid format, in person and online. On the one hand in the streets of Vilanova i la Geltrú and on the other in telematic format at This dual nature of the Fira is here to stay. The aim is for the digital format to help break down borders and develop the event and the city as an economic benchmark in Catalonia.

A fair created by Pere III El Cerimoniós

This new dual version, virtual, on-site and highly technological, is the latest reinvention of an event with more than 600 years of history. Because the origins of the Fira de Novembre date back to the 14th century.


On 3 July 1381, King Pere III El Cerimoniós granted the knight Bernat de Fortià authorisation to hold an annual fortnight-long fair in the town of Vilanova de Cubelles. This authorisation specifies that the starting date would be All Saints’ Day.

In practice, this privilege granted by Pere III el Cerimoniós to Fortià meant a change of status for what was then a small village of peasants, fishermen and livestock farmers. Thanks to the fair, Vilanova gained importance compared to the surrounding municipalities.

At first, the Fira was mainly agricultural in nature, with livestock, farm implements and fishing. It is known that for years it began on All Saints’ Day and ended on Saint Martin’s Day (11 November), lasting two weeks. Over time it became shorter and shorter, and it is known that in the 17th century it was already concentrated in two or three days around San Severo (6 November).

At that time, the Fira was held in the centre of the Vilanova of the time. It had its epicentre in the Plaça Major or Plaça de Dalt and extended towards the Plaça de Sant Pere, Plaça de les Cols, Plaça Llarga and Plaça del Pou.

Over the centuries, new products were introduced into the market, such as textiles, knick-knacks, toys…

Towards the end of the 19th century, the Fira de Novembre moved to the Plaça Ventosa, the old Plaça de la Vila.

After a few years without any fair activity, in 1958 Vilanova i la Geltrú held its first Poultry Fair, which would take place for years in the first fortnight of the month. Again, with the passing of time, the sectors of commerce, industry, transport, etc., were added to the event.

Finally, in 1991, the Fira de Novembre proper, as we know it today, was revived. A key event for the projection of the city that in recent years has been incorporating spaces and adapting to a changing reality, with areas dedicated to innovation and economic development.

In 2021 La Fira de Novembre celebrated 30 years of modern history.

Fira de Novembre 2021: technology and innovation

This year the Fira is taking another step forward in its transformations and adaptations to the social and economic reality of Vilanova i la Geltrú. It does so with a firm commitment to specialisation in the fields of innovation and technology.

The new model of the Fira de Novembre brings together four fairs in one: the traditional event, with exhibitors; the social event, with parallel activities and exhibitions; the strategic model, focused on technology, and finally the virtual sphere.

Due to the COVID-19 protocol, this year there will still be a reduced occupation of public roads, centred on Plaça de les Neus and Plaça de la Vila and arteries such as Rambla Principal, Rambla de la Pau and Avinguda de Francesc Macià.

The Plaça de les Neus will host the Espai30, while the Plaça de la Vila will focus on technology, innovation, research and knowledge companies not only from Vilanova i la Geltrú but from all over Catalonia. Under the name VNG Innova there will be three large areas dedicated to three fields: creativity, health and sustainability. There will be projects on sports clothing made from recycled plastic, virtual reality, robots to help people… The presentations and conferences can be seen in person or live through the VNG Innova Channel.

The virtual space is already available on the website, with an online showcase of the approximately 270 participating companies. The activities taking place throughout the event will take place both in person and online.

In addition, coinciding with the Fira de Novembre there will also be the 2nd Congress on Business Innovation and Startups, which will bring together 200 entrepreneurs, freelancers, managers and business people, the DesTapa Vilanova tapas route, the Comerços Oberts offers and discounts campaign and a meeting of classic cars in the Plaça del Port.

There are hundreds of reasons to come to the Fira de Novembre de Vilanova i la Geltrú – we look forward to seeing you!

Thank you for reading, sharing and commenting.

Laura Rangel

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Vilanova i la Geltrú

18:30 a 21:00h