The 221 residents of Juzcar are voting on whether to keep their town painted Smurf blue.
It was meant to be a short-lived publicity stunt for a film that became a box-office smash despite withering reviews. But for the 221 inhabitants of Juzcar in southern Spain, The Smurfs in 3D has brought them an unexpected lifeline in tough financial times.
The tiny pueblo of white-washed buildings near Malaga in Andalucia was selected by the filmmakers to be painted entirely in that unique hue, Smurf blue.
While Sony had promised to return the village to its former glory after filming and publicity, the residents have found that being blue is not so bad at all, and yesterday held a referendum to decide whether to remain the world's only Smurf village.
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Ever since the pueblo was converted into the set of Smurftown for Sony's hit, it has been cashing in on its new-found celebrity status. Previously, about 300 tourists a year would pass through Juzcar.
In the past six months, an estimated 80,000 followers of "Los Pitufos", as the Smurfs are known in Spanish, have made the trek to the remote village high in Malaga's sierras. The village has eagerly embraced its new role, holding events such as a Smurf moonlight fun run, Smurf painting competitions and permanently running Smurf trade fairs. There are even Smurf-themed weddings to keep fans of the squeaky little blue folk coming.
However, the biggest draw for Smurfophiles is surely Juzcar's 175 buildings, uniformly repainted light blue from traditional white for the filming. Even the church and gravestones were transformed, with 4000 litres of blue paint applied to one of Spain's famous 1500 "pueblos blancos".
Encouraged by the results of the referendum last northern spring which allowed Sony to paint the town blue - it was a unanimous vote in favour - Juzcar's Mayor, David Fernandez, was confident that there would be little opposition. "They are in favour of the environment, hard-working and happy, just like the people of Juzcar," Fernandez pointed out yesterday on the town's website.
"Keep Juzcar blue for fresher times and a better future."