The La Mercè parade, held on the eve of the annual festival, serves as a showcase for Barcelona’s popular culture. Almost all of the city’s giants participate and take the lead. They are accompanied by beasts, capgrossos (children wearing “big heads”), entertainment groups, music bands and festive elements related to this year’s theme. There will also be specially adapted giants that will be carried by people with disabilities.
This year, on the afternoon of 24 September, the parade will pay tribute to the arts on the occasion of Picasso Year, which marks the 50th anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death. For this reason, the parade is entitled “The Parade of the Arts” and will feature the Barcelona Communal Procession, the giants of Kyiv, the revived Comparsa “Visca Picasso!” and artist giants like those from La Pedrera and Poble-sec, Charlie Rivel from Cubelles, the Escola Joan Miró, the Ocellaire de l’Eixample, the musicians of Amposta… and the vast majority of giants from Barcelona! They will all be led by the mounted Guàrdia Urbana [Barcelona city police].
The event will begin at 6 pm on Carrer Pelai, and will end at around 8 pm in Plaça Sant Jaume with all the participants making their way into City Hall, and the dances of the Capgrossos Macers [“big-head” macebearer figures], the Àliga [Eagle} and the city’s own giants.