The 2017 of La Mercè kicks off with its inaugural speech and other activities
Barcelona's big city festival ('festa major') is here once more. From September 22 to 25, a new edition of La Mercè takes place. Friday 22 sees the official start of the festivities with the 'pregó' ('inaugural speech'), which this year is given by the Barcelona-born philosopher Marina Garcés in the traditional setting of Plaça de Sant Jaume (6.30pm). Half an hour later, there is the pealing of bells for the Festa Major in the Barri Gòtic, then the start of the inaugural procession (featuring a range of large characters representing historical and fantastical figures) from Palau de la Virreina on La Rambla (where they're housed during the year) to Plaça Sant Miquel, and the opening dance ('toc d'inici').