Many cities dread massive street festivals and block parties. These celebrations usually come along with widespread clean-up efforts and struggles to keep the party from getting out of hand. But in Barcelona each August, the neighborhood of Gràcia explodes into celebration, and beautifies the city along the way.
While there is an element of partying and revelry to the Festa Major de Gràcia, residents of the usually-quiet neighborhood also fiercely compete for the best decorated street. Often using recycled materials, each block chooses a theme and works to cover every inch of the narrow street. Decorations are stretched between buildings to turn streets into cave-like passages exploding with color and papier-mâché sculptures, and balconies are outfitted with everything from streamers to basketball hoops and giant scissors.
Festa Major de Gràcia rages day and night for a week, turning 20 streets in Gràcia into their own new worlds for the time. Although drinking, dancing and partying dominate the landscape at night, the festival also offers activities for children during the day, allowing the entire family to enjoy the vibrant and exciting street festival.