Admit it, you were expecting the annual Catalan Beach Boules Championship to be the highlight of the Sitges events calendar, weren't you? A small coastal town of 26,000, you'd certainly be forgiven for thinking that a school performance of Don Quixote would constitute a major happening in the city, but you'd also be completely wrong. Sitges is home to two world-renowned events in the shape of the respected International Film Festival which takes place each October and the ribald Carnival celebrations that go on for over a week at the beginning of Lent each year (February/March).
The former was founded in 1967 and specialises in horror and fantasy films, and has been attended by the likes of David Lynch, Quentin Tarantino and David Cronenburg, with most of the pics screened in the El Retiro cinema. The latter is a week long bender, when every evening hundreds of thousands descend in fancy dress and drag for an all night drinking session. Kind of like Rio but a lot colder! The carnival culminates with the outrageous "Debauchery Parade" on the Sunday, before finishing with a bang during the "Extermination Parade". A good way to dispell the winter blues, especially as flights into Barcelona are cheaper this time of year!
Those aren't the only big events to look out for, and at the end of March Sitges celebrates its association with car racing (rallies were held here in the early part of the 20th Century, and the town even hosted the Spanish Grand Prix in 1923) with the Sitges Vintage Car Rally. None of the automobiles on show were produced after 1924 and this is a rare treat for nostalgic race buffs!
Drinking and driving don't mix, but luckily the Sitges Grape Harvest Festival doesn't take place September, when grape treading and barrel lifting contests accompany plenty of wine tasting as well (naturally!).
In fact there are many more dates for your diary, including an annual Tango Festival, Music Festival, and Gourmet Food Festival, whilst the town also celebrates classic Catalan saint days like Sant Joan (midsummer's night) and Dia de Sant Jordi. We'll keep you up to date, so just check the monthly listings above for concerts, exhibitions, live music, jazz and more in Sitges Spain!