Lo Crispin may be the furthest urbanisation from Algorfa, but the Lo Crispin Residents Cultural Association (LCRCA) makes sure everyone is at the heart of events in the town. Formed in 2010, with the late Colin Ranson as its first President, the registered charity is busily preparing for its first-ever fiesta, which will become an annual 3-day event. Current President Yvette Cooper planned to launch the Lo Crispin Fiesta officially in 2020, but we all know what happened then! Plans were also shelved for 2021, since the organisers couldn’t be sure what restrictions would be in place, but now it’s full steam ahead for the end of July. The fiesta will be officially opened by Algorfa Mayor Manuel Ros Rodes and Yvette at 6.30 pm on Friday 29 July.
Around Algorfa caught up with Yvette and her husband Mike, who runs the Lo Crispin Men’s Walking Football Team, at the association’s base at the Lo Crispin Tavern, and it’s clear the residents of Lo Crispin, Algorfa and the surrounding locals have a real treat in store. Yvette and Mike were quick to point out that the Fiesta couldn’t take place without the support of Tavern owner David Ferrandiz and his team. She said:
‘David not only supports everything LCRCA does, he’s also there for residents with practical support such as translation, bereavement support and problem solving. And when people hit the inevitable road blocks with Spanish bureaucracy, he’ll do anything he can to help unravel the red tape.’
Lo Crispin Tavern is an outstanding blueprint for integration, with the bar’s Spanish owners and residents from the UK and other nationalities happily working together to have fun and raise funds for neighbours in need. Each year, at the AGM, LCRCA votes on the local charities it will support with its fundraising activities. In 2022, that’s Alpe Torrevieja, a rehabilitation centre for children and adults and A Helping Hand Costa Banca, a local food bank helping struggling families in the Vega Baja. In addition, Yvette works closely with Mari Carmen in the Ayuntamiento (Town Hall) in Algorfa, and when she hears of families in need in Algorfa, LCRCA will step in and help.
Lo Crispin Tavern has pledged to donate €1 for every meal sold at the fiesta to LCRCA’s charitable fund, and local builders Vermell, who are working to transform the Lo Crispin Commercial centre into apartments and commercial units to bring more families and local businesses to the area, have donated €300 in sponsorship for the fiesta. While the main aim of the fiesta is to provide food, fun and entertainment for locals in typical Spanish style, Yvette also hopes to swell the charity funds so they can carry on improving the lives of people Around Algorfa. While you don’t have to be a member of LCRCA to enjoy the activities the association organises through the year, the nominal €5 annual membership goes into the charitable fund, and members get first refusal on tickets for coach trips, mini breaks and communal meals and barbecues.
There’s lots of children’s entertainment organised for the fiesta, because as Mike says, ‘If the kids want to come, naturally the parents will follow.’ On Saturday 30 July, between 4.00 pm and 6.00 pm, the focus is firmly on the children, with face painting, balloon art, games and cartoon characters. The Tavern also has an impressive children’s play area, so there’s lots to see and do. For the adults, there’s entertainment going on into the early hours in the Beer Garden, various stalls, and that vital fiesta mainstay, a giant paella. Big Radio Spain is broadcasting live from the fiesta. Check out LCRCA’s Facebook link in the first paragraph of this for latest news on the fiesta.
LCRCA is able to donate so generously to local good causes thanks to the impressive network of contacts previous association President Colin and Yvette have built up over the years, or as Mike puts it, ‘Yvette’s constant nagging of Manuel (Algorfa’s Mayor), David and everyone else!’ For the last three years, Iceland Torrevieja have donated 100 selection boxes for the children at Alpe. David loans his trailer for delivery, and LCRCA committee member Alan Ralph turns it into a sleigh, for Santa (AKA Mike Cooper) todeliver the goods.
Mike must make a very convincing Santa, because last year there were a number of letters, asking if Father Christmas could bring the school a karaoke machine. Yvette is nagging – sorry, networking with – local radio station owner Richie Sparks of Big Radio Spain to source a suitable machine to ensure the Alpe children have a very happy, and probably noisy Christmas this year. LCRCA’s connection with Alpe is strong; the Zumba group from Lo Crispin Tavern go there regularly and have fun with the children and adults. Zumba is on the curriculum!
Social events by LCRCA
LCRCA isn’t just about fundraising, though. It’s main focus is bringing people together to enjoy life in Spain, and there’s a varied programme of coach trips, events and mini breaks tailored to appeal to all tastes. Naturally, the Covid restrictions have impacted events over the last two years. On a recent day trip to Gandia, rescheduled from 2021, only 25 of the original 50 passengers managed to make the trip. Some people are still wary of venturing too far with strangers due to the risk of infection, but Yvette is confident LCRCA will soon be taking out full coaches again.
In September, there’s a 4-day mini break to Salou on the Costa Dorada, Catalonia. It’s just €215 half board per person, and there is still some availability. Contact Yvette on the LCRCA Facebook page for more details.
LCRCA is also taking a coach to the Mediaeval Market in Cartagena, and something special is being planned during the Christmas and New Year period. Watch this space!
All LCRCA’s coach trips have pick up points in the urbanisations Around Algorfa and the town itself, so there’s no hanging about, it’s straight on the road to enjoyment!
The Lo Crispin Easter Egg Hunt was a victim of its own success on Easter Sunday. There were so many entrants, one of the committee members had to make a dash for Lidl. Luckily it was open, and he cleared the shelves. It’s a valuable lesson learned for next year.
LCRCA also organise a bonfire and firework display on November 5. It’s not a special day in Spanish history, but it is an important day for one of Lo Crispin’s best-loved residents. Once Beryl Ranson, wife of previous LCRCA President Colin, spotted the hunky Spanish firefighters on safety duty, she insisted the event was firmly fixed in the Lo Crispin social calendar. Just call her Bomberilla Beryl from now on! (little firefighter)
Around Algorfa wishes Lo Crispin Residents Cultural Association every success with its first annual fiesta. On behalf of everyone in Algorfa, we want to thank Yvette and everyone involved in LCRCA for everything they do to make our lives so special. Algorfa just wouldn’t be the same without you.
Image credits: All images courtesy of Lo Crispin Residents Cultural Association