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Not a sight you expect to see in the town car park.

Not a sight you expect to see in the town car park.

I’m used to seeing all sorts of weird and wonderful things happening on the streets of Puerto de la Cruz from avante-garde street theatre to traditional Canarian folk dancing but today, even I had to do a double take.

When you glance over at the car park from alongside the harbour, there are some things that you simply do not expect to see.
“There are elephants in the car park” I said to Jack, not something you hear yourself say very often.
Naturally, that got his attention and before I knew it he was off, like a latter day Alice, camera in hand in pursuit of a somewhat larger, but equally swift quarry.

The elephants were merely strolling, but nevertheless managed to cover the ground at such a speed that I could see Jack’s little legs having to run to keep up. I followed in the wake of grinning faces, exchanged glances at mobile phone photos and wide eyed children. It was easy to follow their trail.
I lost sight of the elephants as they rounded windy corner and headed down towards Plaza Europa but even if I hadn’t gotten to the corner just in time to see them head into the Plaza itself, I would have been left in no doubt as to which way they’d gone.

Youd be hard pressed to find a more appreciative audience

You'd be hard pressed to find a more appreciative audience

A pandemonium of screams greeted the gentle giants from a large group of schoolchildren who were sitting in the Plaza under the supervision of their teachers. The noise brought a smile to everyone’s faces and a contagious buzz of excitement that took me instantly back to my childhood and the thrill of seeing the circus arrive in town for the August Bank Holiday weekend.

The elephants stood side by side in front of the children, gently swaying to and fro until a plastic shopping bag of apples was placed in front of each of them. They proceeded to lift the apples one at a time and devour them using their trunks with more dexterity than the average human wielding a knife and fork. When the larger of the two had finished his bucket full, his trunk wound over to the bag of apples in front of Junior, which elicited a squeal of collective delight from the children.

Classic stuff..Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk tum de dum..

Classic stuff..Nellie the Elephant packed her trunk tum te tum..

When their snack was finished, the elephants gracefully left the Plaza, the smaller one walking on its hind legs with its front feet firmly planted on the backside of the one in front and to the frantic applause and shouts of ‘adios’ of the kids.
I’m sure I can’t have been the only one there to wipe an eye whilst grinning like a fool.

With the elephants gone, the clowns took over and after them, acrobats on a trampoline and then more clowns, all introduced by the ringmaster in his splendid crimson tailcoat.
Tickets were given out to everyone offering discounted seat prices at the Gran Circo Mundial (World Circus) which would be performing in Santa Cruz all over the coming weekend and advising of location and the times of every show.

I know we’re in the digital age now and social media sites are fast becoming the mainstay of effective marketing and I subscribe to that wholeheartedly. But as far as old fashioned promotion of an upcoming event goes, I simply can’t think of anything that would have been more effective.

I’ll be going. And I bet everyone else in that Plaza will be too.

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Scanning the posts on the Tenerife forum of TripAdvisor, I notice that lots of people are planning to come to Tenerife for Christmas and New Year and are keen to know what festivities they’re likely to find in or around their resort.

Of course, this being Tenerife, information from the local town hall on forthcoming events in its municipality is thin on the ground, and in English, positively conspicuous by its absence.

Your quick guide to whats on in Tenerife

Your quick guide to what's on in Tenerife

There are two things about the Tenerife method of marketing which are critical for you to know if you’re hoping to glean information about what’s on in Tenerife over the festive season.
Firstly, ‘planning’ is not a skill that Tinerfeños rate highly and even the most efficient of businesses on the island will rarely practice it. Secondly, ‘word of mouth’ is still the preferred form of business, social and personal communication.

These two factors combine to stage events where the agenda is produced in what is considered to be plenty of time i.e. the day before, and the only people who attend them are those who were there last year or who know someone who was there last year.

In an attempt to provide some kind of advance notice of what’s happening in Tenerife, we’ve just launched Tenerife Matters; short, sharp, timely information on events, fiestas, concerts, exhibitions and anything else that we feel may ‘matter’ to anyone planning to visit Tenerife in the near future.

Check it out.

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