Around 13.00 o' clock the Mayor of Gibraltar read her speech, not longer than 10 minutes, then she ordered the 30 000 balloons (one for every Gibraltarian) to be released. Everybody cheered, it was a general enthusiasm I've never seen elsewhere.
In the main squares there were organized stands with traditional food, like calentita, tortilla de patatas and spinach pie and the funds raised will be used to help children in need. The local Police representatives and St. John's Ambulance were present too.
Following the crowd, after the last balloon disappeared in the sky, we went back, behind Casemates Square, at El Cottage where EastSide Blues Band has organized a great music live show. They invited to play first "The Rizing" a rock band, that conquered the audience with their well known and very appreciated repertoir. The restaurant was full of people enjoying Mediterranean food, beer and wine, as long as the music played. Next to play came a classical guitarist, Keith Vinnicombe who delighted the crowd with lovely harmonies. He was followed by Neal Higgings and Andrew Pons, playing Irish music and, finally, the blues band EastSide Blues Band, the host of the event. Later a very young and talented band , ForwardSlash performed. After half an hour break, East Side Blues Band come back and played again, being the most photographed band at that night.Because it was Francis birthday too, the owner of El Cottage, we had a double party, with nice food and plenty of beer. I was happy to greet some old friends of mine, from Romania, I haven't seen for over 20 years. Being in a holiday to Estepona, they came to see how Gibraltarians spend their national day. They ate, for the first time in their life, paella con mariscos and gallo, a pork stew cooked in wine; they liked very much the atmosphere of the celebration, the joy that Gibraltarians experience at this event.
The party continued in the night ending up with beautiful fire works. Next day everybody had to go to work, but the memory of a great day will last through time.