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Men and women of Barcelona,

Urging the people of Barcelona to come out onto the street to enjoy the Mercè Festival is one of the most enjoyable duties that I have as Mayor of Barcelona. This year, this call takes on a special meaning after the enormous pain caused by the terrorist attack and the ever-present memory of the victims. Ours is a city that knows how to show its sorrow and sympathy, but it is also one that knows how to recover and face up to adversity.

It is because of this that coming out to celebrate the Mercè takes on more meaning than ever. Make the most of the city's most beloved festival, don’t stay at home, stroll along our precious Rambla, go out, enjoy the concerts and the wide range of performances, take your children to see the giants and the human towers, discover the talents of so many street and circus artists, and dancers of all styles who will fill our city over these days. In a word, take part. Because you are the festival and the festival is for you. This year’s aims to be a special Mercè, with a joyous poster by Javier Mariscal, in tribute to the 25th anniversary of the Olympic Games.

We also have as guest city Reykjavik, with which we share cultural concerns, social mobilisations and the commitment to fight climate change. 

I am especially happy that Marina Garcés has accepted the invitation to give the proclamation. Marina is a lucid and critical voice who gives us food for thought about the uncertainties of the present time; a woman who invites us through philosophy to ask ourselves questions and search for answers, at all times from the perspective of her profound humanism and love for this city.

Let us all take part in the festival to make it bigger than ever. Let us make the Mercè a festival where we show that we are a city of peace, proud of its diversity, a city that feels pain, but one from which they’ll never take away our ability to smile.

Let us make the Mercè a festival that reaches everyone, because every year, the Mercè extends into more and more suburbs in the city. This year, it is not only returning to the Parc de la Trinitat, but it is also visiting the Parc de Sant Martí and the Parc de Nou Barris. Because the Festa Major has to be a festival in the centre and in the suburbs. Because Barcelona is nothing without its suburbs and its people.

Let us celebrate as we look after each other, as we respect each other and as we love life. This is our festival, because for a few days each and every one of us is the Mercè and no one will ever take that away from us.

 

Ada Colau Ballano

Mayor of Barcelona