Men and women of Barcelona, welcome to La Mercè!
As we enter the autumn, the city’s people take to the streets and squares. These are the first days of the new academic year, a time of hopes and wishes as we leave behind us the summer’s heat and calm. Like a bugle call, La Mercè wakes us up ready to have fun and to make the city our own once more.
This year, as every year, the festivity is made possible by the participation of one and all. These days, as we stroll around Barcelona, admiring the festive decoration, we remember all the other celebrations that we have enjoyed here and we gaze in love and pride at the city that we have built among us all, a task that we shall always continue to perform. It is festival time in Barcelona, and everyone is invited to add their grain of sand, both those who organise the activities and those who enjoy them with family or friends. Young or old, it makes no difference: ours is the finest example of a collective festivity.
La Mercè is that laughing girl who, this year, thanks to the work of the illustrator Miguel Gallardo, smiles at us from all the festival posters as she dreams of the fire run, the concerts, the parades, the street parties and events at new venues like the Fabra i Coats Art Factory and La Trinitat Park, which spread music and joy to more and more neighbourhoods in our city.
This year, Paris is the sister city invited to celebrate La Mercè with us. Barcelona and Paris have long occupied leading positions in the world of culture and civic-mindedness. The creativity of these two cities now fuses for the duration of our festivity. We are delighted that this European capital is bringing to Barcelona a sample of the talent that has made Paris a reference for artists around the world for so many years.
Let us have fun, dance, make the streets ours, whilst always maintaining our respect towards others, remembering that the local people need to sleep, ensuring that everyone is free to live and to come and go as they please; let us have no gender violence or discrimination towards any group. Let La Mercè be the festivity that we all want, a reflection of a city both joyful and responsible, a friendly, caring city that all can enjoy, a refuge both for those who have long lived here and those who have just arrived. Let this be the festivity of all Barcelona, proud of its diversity and open to the world.
Have a great festa major!
Mayor of Barcelona