Day 91 - La Merce 2014 (Part 1)

From September 19 - September 24, the city of Barcelona transforms to celebrate its local festivity, La Merce, also known as festa major.  According to the introduction at the beginning of the program for this year's festival, "the only mystery is that wise blend of tradition and modernity".  There are numerous events, in 4 different categories, traditional, music, dance and street art, and the great festival of fire.

Travel Tip: Not all events are family friendly (such as La Merce Correfoc, also known as the fire run), so it is definitely a good idea to check the schedule and then do some additional research to find out what the event is actually about. 

Today, we decided to head to Barceloneta beach to check out the International Fireworks Festival.  Tonights' performance was hosted by Tamaya Kitahara Fireworks (Japan) and Pirotècnica Igual (Catalonia).

I am not sure for how long, possibly until this upcoming weekend (Sep 27/28), there is a nice carnival and street fair set up near the beach.  Since we had plenty of time, we walked through the colorful street fair and let the kids enjoy a couple of rides at the carnival. 

Street Fair in Barceloneta

Carnival at Barceloneta

The Great Festival of Fire

We headed to the beach just in time to find a seat on the cool sand near the water.  We brought our bamboo mat and a couple of towels along, so we were all ready for the show.  The beach and the sound of the waves can be so peaceful at night, minus the hundreds of people who were waiting nearby to watch the fireworks as well.  We even saw a few people on paddle boards get in the water and watch from their boards.  How neat is that?!

The fireworks were beautiful, and watching it at the beach made it even more magical.  Less magical was when the wind from the sea brought in the smoke and some debris, but it was cleared away quickly enough.  

We cannot wait to attend more events at La Merce!