Celebrating The Gracia Festival (Fiesta Mayor de Gracia 2015)

The Gracia festival is a very lively and animated week-long street festival that takes place within the many streets and plazas in the Gracia neighborhood in Barcelona. This Festival is organised by the residents of the neighbourhood primarily a festival for the residents however, they are kind enough to invite all to join in

Mapa festa

Until 1897 Gracia was a separate village from the city of Barcelona. Gracia still retains the village like feel, which only adds to the  atmosphere making this particular festival one of the most anticipated events of the year. I loved it because it promotes togetherness, demonstrates a strong sence of community and welcomes everyone with very open arms to come and  join them in celebration.

Gracia Festival TRADITIONS AND ACTIVITIES

There is an extensive programme of over 500 events and activities for the whole family to enjoy and these events run all day and allllll night long.  of all the activities this year (my first year) I was particularly impressed by 2 things in particular – the street decoration competition and the concerts.

The streets decorating competition: Maybe my favorite part of the festival and defiantly one of the main events. People come from far and wide to check out the beautifully hand crafted adorned streets of the town. Aprox 18 streets and squares in Gracia are decorated by the residents,of the particular street, and the idea is to competes for the prized award of best decorated street or square of the Gracia festival. Each street tends to take the competition seriously and as you the standards are high.

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The decorations are hand-made, and the theme changes every each year. The public are free to enjoy the decorations throughout the duration of the festival period both day and night. You will find that each street will have  a bar, a stage, and programme of activities happening throughout the day, will almost always include a dj’ and/or concerts, or film screening at night.

Above Verdi Street This years Winner and reign champion three years running – Verdi Street 

Music Concerts:

Oh man the concerts are top quality,  some of the best i have ever been too. A lot of local bands as well as known DJ’s and artist take to the many stages each night. The main squares have the larger stages and are each genre themed I.E, folk stage, rock stage, jazz stage etc. The many smaller stages vary in music types and entertainment, but one thing all the stages big and small, have in common  is that every night come 10pm there will be a performance drawing a massive crowd, and a lot of dancing and drinking to the early hours.

be sure to pick up  programme it cost 1 euro and lists every event*

Gracia Festival Food & drink:

It wouldn’t be a fiesta without food and drink in, abundance. The restaurants, shops ans supermarkets  of Gracia remain open thought-out the event till early hours, so you will have no problem stocking up in booze, and getting fed.

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The main road Verdi street, runs through the centre of Gracia is the hub, where you will find bars and galore/ there is a wide variety of foods from greek to Moroccan to taps, and the smaller bars/cafe have set menus i.e you can get a beer and a burger for 5 Euro. It was here that we found the 1 euro canyas ( draft beer) Pictured above. no matter where we was in the festival we would make our way back here to drink. this was also our emergency meeting point if we got lost.

Fiesta de Gracia has probably  been my favorite Barcelona experience during this journey so far.  I just have my fingers and toes crossed I am still living here next year so I can do it all again!

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