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Sitges celebrates Carnival in style with colourful and wild parades

The Sitges Carnival is one of the best-known in Spain. Its spectacular nature, alongside with the crowded parades and the dedication of the entire city to this festival, make thousands of tourists and people from all over Catalonia visit the city and enjoy its Carnival. For a week, the whole town dresses up and organises activities that include parades, parties, races or balls, where adults and children have fun together. This year, more than 300,000 people joined the villagers in the celebration of Sitges’ most important holiday.

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13 February 2013 09:15 PM

by

Carlota Guerra

Sitges (CNA).- The Sitges Carnival is one of the best-known in Spain. Its spectacular nature, alongside with the crowded parades and the dedication of the entire city to this festival, make thousands of tourists and people from all over Catalonia visit the city and enjoy its Carnival. For a week, the whole town dresses up and organises activities that include parades, parties, races or balls, where adults and children have fun together. This year, more than 300,000 people joined the villagers in the celebration of Sitges\u2019 most important holiday.


The main streets of Sitges put together a spectacular mosaic of pirates, princesses, thieves or ninjas that couldn\u2019t stop laughing, singing and dancing. The town was crowded as thousands of foreigners, Spanish and Catalan tourists decided to witness the well-known \u201CRua de la Disbauxa\u201D parade, one of the main highlights of the Carnival, which took place on Sunday evening.

The Sitges Carnival lasts for a week and presents a large amount of activities and special events. The two most important ones are Sunday\u2019s and Tuesdays\u2019 parades, which this year included 49 floats and 2,500 participants in fancy dresses. This year\u2019s theme is called \u201Cthe Dark Suburb\u201D and pays homage to the western.

Both Sunday and Tuesday, the floats went throught the main streets of Sitges. The cortege was composed by platforms carried by tractors, in a unique display of artistic creativity. Dancing in front of them and standing up in the platforms there were cheerfully disguised participants. Each float and its components represented a different theme: the jungle, the underworld, ancient Egypt or Venice Carnival. However, all of them had some elements in common: the colourful feathers of their costumes, their fantasy outfits, the sequins and make-up all over the body. As for the floats, they can be described as mini theatre stages, incredibly decorated, that advance very slowly, leaving the streets full of music, joy and confetti.

The parades, watched by thousands of people that spent several hours on the streets to get a better view, are only the appetiser for what comes next, especially for the young participants. After the \u201CRua\u201D finishes, which is usually very late in the evening, the party begins. The tourists and villagers find themselves on the boardwalk, where small food and drink stands can be found. The music doesn\u2019t stop until the next morning, where the last ones standing go home.

The Sitges Carnival, however, offers much more than parades. Around thirty different activities were programmed for this year\u2019s edition, including the recently-added election of the Carnival Queen.

Reduced budget and special services

The budget for the Sitges Carnival has been significantly reduced over the past two years: it has been downsized by 50%, leaving this year\u2019s assignation budget of \u20AC89,000.

For this event, special security protection was provided. About 1,100 men and women from the Local Police, Catalan Police (Mossos d\u2019Esquadra), Medical Emergencies Service, Red Cross, Firefighters and Civil Protection were in charge of supervising the Carnival. This protection was reinforced by a private security vigilance service, in charge of controlling the access to the city and the itinerary of the parades.

In order to ease the access to Sitges, the Mid-Distance Train service of Catalonia offered more than 45,000 additional seats for the R2 line, which links Sitges with Barcelona. 35 double trains also covered this route on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday nights. Bus lines were increased for these days as well.

A week-long holiday

The Sitges Carnival is, by far, the best-known in Catalonia. It attracts thousands of tourists from all over the world each year, turning the town into Catalonia\u2019s epicentre for a week. Its extravagance and flamboyance is prestigious all over Spain and pays homage to the real Carnival atmosphere.

The Sitges Carnival ends on Ash Wednesday, when the burial of the sardine takes place marking the ending of this year\u2019s holiday and making way for the preparation of the next one.

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  • A participant in Sitges' Sunday parade (by C. Guerra)

  • A group participating in Sitges's Sunday parade (by C. Guerra)

  • The Sitges Carnival's Queen on Sunday parade (by C. Guerra)

  • A participant in Sitges' Sunday parade (by C. Guerra)
  • A group participating in Sitges's Sunday parade (by C. Guerra)
  • The Sitges Carnival's Queen on Sunday parade (by C. Guerra)