Another popular festive activity, the San Silvestre race, has been axed as part of a string of cancellations. It’s a bit strange, because Expojove, a children’s fair held in the indoor space of Feria Valencia, will be making a comeback at the same time.
In response to an increase in Covid-19 cases in the city, Valencia City Council has suspended the popular San Silvestre race, as directed by the Ministry of Public Health.
Pilar Bernabé, Valencia City Councilor for Sports and President of the Municipal Sports Foundation (FDM), explained that this decision is in the “general interest” and follows the Ministry’s guidelines. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to celebrate the popular New Year’s Eve this year either. We have always prioritised the safety of those attending, and now is the time to be prudent and responsible, following the great example set by Valencians” Bernabé added.
The decision to cancel the race was made in response to an increase in incidence in Valencia, which now exceeds 300 positive cases per 100,000 people. The San Silvestre race, one of the most important events on the runner calendar, has been cancelled due to the difficulty in controlling participants. The popular race was also cancelled last year, making it one of Valencia’s few events that has not been held two years in a row.
For those who are unaware, the renowned San Silvestre race is a sporting event that draws thousands of people to the centre of Valencia and other towns throughout the Valencian Community every December 30. The race is characterised by its playful and popular atmosphere, as well as by the participation of hundreds of families and friends who take to the streets to brighten the day with colour, costumes, and joy.
In the most recent race, held in 2019, 600 runners competed for first place in Valencia’s capital, while an additional 17,000 people participated in the unofficial part of the event.
It appears illogical to cancel this race after so many have been held in Valencia in recent weeks and months. The timing is also odd, as the decision was made at the same time as the return of Expojove, a children’s fair held in the indoor area of Feria Valencia was announced.