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Gràcia Street Festival in Barcelona displays its creativity and community spirit

Barcelona’s neighbourhood of Gràcia has started its annual street festival on Wednesday, a week long festival famous for its street decorations and community spirit. Every year residents form committees to chose a theme and decorate their streets in competition with each other with ornaments made by the residents themselves. The festival is popular with tourists and Barcelonans alike and starts on the 15th August every year.

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17 August 2012 11:29 PM

by

David Tuxworth

Barcelona (ACN).- The annual \u2018Festa Major\u2019 is underway in Gràcia, an annual event which starts on 15th August each year. The street party is famous for its varied and vibrant street decorations as residents compete with each other to put on the most impressive display of creativity. Each street that participates has a committee that chooses a theme. Residents often prepare ornaments months in advance for the festival, with final adjustments taking place a week before the start. Like every summer, Gràcia has transformed its ordinary streets into avenues of imagination, with everything from chandeliers and dresses to spaceships and caricatures.


Although religious in its origins, celebrating the patron saint days, the festival now focuses more on the social side of life. The spirit of the festival is in discovering the side streets where residents have enthusiastically decorated their streets with their chosen theme, which are then open to exploration during the week. Every year, the festival of Gràcia transforms the popular but generally tranquil part of town into a week long street party, filling most of its streets and squares with a variety of activities to entertain its visitors. Ranging from open air meals to music concerts, theatre performances to karaoke nights and film screenings to magic shows, the aim is to create an authentic summer festival atmosphere. As one resident describes it, \u201CIt\u2019s one big party basically\u201D, and one of Barcelona\u2019s most cherished annual celebrations.

This year the winner of the fiercely contested first prize is the middle of Verdi Street, which was transformed into a Wild West themed display. In a very close second, only a few points behind the winner, was Mozart Street, which was converted into a \u2018freak show\u2019. The lower part of the Fraternitat Street came in third with its display of world music and dance.

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  • Verdi Street won this year's competition with Wild West-themed decorations (by J. Molina)

  • Residents decorate their street (by J. Molina)

  • Residents decorate their street (by J. Molina)

  • Verdi Street won this year's competition with Wild West-themed decorations (by J. Molina)
  • Residents decorate their street (by J. Molina)
  • Residents decorate their street (by J. Molina)