The Bread Festival in Neda showcases the town’s finest produce, which has made it the Galician capital of wheat for centuries.
The roots of this breadmaking tradition can be traced back to the Middle Ages when important industries, such as wheat mills, sprang up around the river Belelle. The quality of the water produces wonderful bread and Felipe II even chose the town as the site of the Casas Reales, cake factories and suppliers of provisions for the Spanish Navy.
Neda holds its bread festival on the first Sunday of September. A date which, every year, draws in bigger crowds keen to sample some extraordinary bread. They are also eager to take part in the festivities, which thanks to the hard work of the local Council all year round, include new attractions and activities.
As usual in recent years, the setting for it all is the Seaside Promenade. From first thing in the morning, the bakeries start to sell bread, pasties, and pastries. The bakeries are joined by the now traditional artisanal fair which has dozens of stalls offering a fine selection of a wide range of products.
Music plays a key role throughout the festival, with groups and bands of various styles all keen to keep the party spirit going.
At around two o’clock in the afternoon, attendees are called to the traditional lunch. The reasonably priced menu usually includes pasties, paella, steak, Neda rolls, and coffee, as well as soft drinks and, of course, the traditional local bread.
Every year, Neda Town Council puts on lots of parallel activities. These range from the “Mellor... con pan de neda” pincho trail and contest, the photobooth, which is a recreation of the inside of a mill where you can get a picture of yourself hard at work, to the programme of activities for children.
Alongside the Neda Bread Festival, the Town Council encourages children and adults alike to explore the beautiful Ruta dos Muíño path. This was traditionally held on the day before the festival. It leads through a stunning area and explores the breadmaking process in one of the restored mills on the path. This free guided walk, lasting three hours, starts at 1030 am in the atrium of Santa María church and follows the banks of the river Belelle to O Roxal. It finishes in one of the mills, where participants can watch a demonstration of the mill in action and sample some of Neda’s typical products.