Like most people who love Penedès, I have one town which ranks higher than the others. In my case that is Vilanova i la Geltrú (Garraf) and since we now see the start of our annual town festival - Festa Major - I have difficulties being neutral in my recommendations this time, but I will do my best… ;)
Since many followers of this blog have a special interest in human towers, let us start with the obvious: the most important challenge between castellers in Catalonia this weekend, is the one which takes place on Saturday, July 28, in Vilanova i la Geltrú. Already last weekend did Castellers de Vilafranca complete their first “gamma extra” construction in 2012 (a 4d9a). They now want to beat that result and as a consequence we can expect human towers of the absolutely most advanced category in Vilanova as well. Apart from this, Colla Jove Xiquets de Tarragona wants for this diada to be as important as it was for them last year, and the local team, Bordegassos de Vilanova, have every reason to hope for a Saturday when they jump up one category among the teams in Catalonia.
Now the other events: Staying in Vilanova i la Geltrú and Garraf, the Festa Major program also includes a huge fire-run (correfoc) and Penedès style acrobatic human towers, falcons. In Sitges, you will be able to see another exhibition in building human towers and in Cubelles they celebrate their “little town festival” – Festa Major petita.
Moving over the Baix Penedès, there are still a few highly interesting events related to the Festa Major in El Vendrell: Today, Friday, there will be parades (cercaviles) with performances by all Catalan dances and on Saturday those who understand Catalan can enjoy the satirical “dances” called ball de malcasats.
In Alt Penedès, this weekend offers the second and last concert of the
Music Festival in the Vineyards of Subirats – “Swing Appeal” – and in Vilafranca del Penedès you can watch and dance the Catalan national dance sardana.
Anoia, finally, stands out as a great alternative for those who are not interested in folk culture. Those who like modern Catalan music ought to check out the program of “Anòlia Estrella”, with concerts in Igualada by Love of Lesbian, Mishima and others. Also in Igualada, fans of sports, for their part, will be happy to see that the town is filled up with competitions of the World Bike Trial Championship.
Welcome to Penedès!
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By Erik Wirdheim – your guide in English and Swedish to the wine region Penedès (Catalonia, Spain).
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Photo by Bordegassos de Vilanova - Maite Gomà