the 2024 edition nibbles away at good points and requires areas for improvement

the 2024 edition nibbles away at good points and requires areas for improvement
the 2024 edition nibbles away at good points and requires areas for improvement
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As planned, the objective pursued was achieved: the attendance observed from April 4 to 7, during the Bayonne Ham Fair, was down compared to last year. The Basque city welcomed around 60,000 fewer people than in 2023, which was a record edition with nearly 470,000 visitors. It was a question of limiting the risks of excesses, linked to the festive aspects of this fair… Without undermining the ringing expectations of the charcutiers-salary workers.

“This assessment is sometimes mixed,” conceded the mayor of Bayonne Jean-René Etchegaray, this Thursday, May 2, at a press conference. It must be said that the professional marquee recorded a 10% drop in overall attendance. “We worked in very good conditions, but we worked less,” says charcutier Christian Montauzer. This caused a significant drop in our turnover. When we see people in the city, it shows that there are still good avenues for work. We need to bring more of them to the marquee. »

His counterpart Cédric Bergez confirms: “One of the challenges is to make this marquee more attractive. » The deputy mayor in charge of major events, Yves Ugalde, speaks of a “strengthening of events” to come. The other major task remains: agreeing on a date for the next edition. “We want to continue to avoid school holidays (from April 19 to May 5, editor’s note), Easter weekend (from April 20 to 22, editor’s note) and Spanish Holy Week (from April 13 to 20),” recalls the councilor. However, there is no question of immediately announcing the future compromise between the town hall and the salt workers: “Several work meetings await us. »

Claims

Meetings with ham professionals, therefore, but also with those in security, an aspect which proved rather satisfactory this year. And the mayor draws up his list of good points: “I can cite the improvement in the provision of toilets, the maintenance of bars closing at 1 a.m., the fight against illegal parking – with 1,100 fines against 235 last year -, but also the strengthening of city center patrols, which will lead to proposed sanctions against the rare bars which have not played the game…” The City also announces four times fewer complaints received than in 2023.

However, the mayor singles out “one subject, that of Saturday”. “The crowds can sometimes be scary,” he slips. “Since Covid, all festive events in France have been faced with the same phenomenon,” explains Yves Ugalde. Among the young people, something has changed. Since then, crowds have invaded city center events. » Which could explain, according to elected officials, the paradox of Saturday: while the crowds in town are down (- 5%, i.e. a less significant decrease than on other days compared to 2023), the marquee records that day an increase in attendance (+ 14%) which contrasts with the overall drop… But does not prevent a reduction in turnover.

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