The Malta Independent 20 November 2017, Monday

Birgufest 2017

Thursday, 5 October 2017, 09:43 Last update: about 3 months ago

The Birgu Local Council, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Parliament Secretary for Culture and Local Government, The Department for Local Government and the Mediterranean Tourism Foundation, will be organising the 14th edition of Birgufest between Friday, 13 and Sunday, 15 October.

The programme of activities meets different sectors mostly the educational sector, presenting the historically rich city of Vittoriosa as well as the culture of the Maltese Islands.

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For this event to be a success, the Birgu local council begins the required preparations from months before, with the help of local volunteers. All the hard work carried out during the past months is the guarantee for the success of Birgufest, a remarkable experience for those visiting, not only for the Maltese but also for the tourists who plan their holiday around Birgufest.

Birgufest 2017 will kick off on the morning of Friday, 13 October where the city of Birgu will welcome approximately 1,800 students from schools around Malta and Gozo. These children will have the opportunity to discover Birgu in a fun but educational way, visiting historical buildings and museums and learning about the history of this city.

On Friday evening, various bands will be playing in the main square and activities will go on until midnight.

On Saturday, preparations for the candle lit night will start early in the morning. This year, on Saturday morning, the Birgu local council will host the mayor of Vignanello and his wife together with a delegation from the local council of this Italian city. On this day a twinning agreement will be signed between the two cities in the administrative offices of the Birgu local council. The Red Hackled Pipe Bands and the In Guardia parade will march through the streets of Birgu.

On Saturday, from early afternoon with the help of many residents, 32,000 candles will start to be lit, their light will showcase the beauty of the old but rich streets of the city and will amaze the thousands of visitors present during this spectacular night.

Various bands and folklore groups, even international groups from Portugal and India, will entertain visitors during the night. A group of American street dancers, who were brought thanks to the American Embassy in Malta, will also participate in the activities. In respect to a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the city of Birgu and that of Bodrum in Turkey, a Turkish group will entertain the crowd with a concert in the main square of Birgu. In relation to this particular activity representatives from the local council of Bodrum accompanied by the mayor's wife will also be present.

The highlights of this year's Birgu by candle light will be the various exhibitions showcasing a variety of Maltese talent, the yearly Artisan Market and concerts in the churches of Birgu. Finally the Italian maestro Bruno Santori, together with the Maltese singer Ira Losco, will entertain those present with an unforgettable show. 

On Sunday, 15 October, from 10am till noon the Portuguese folklore group, accompanied by the Mnajra Folk Group from the island of Gozo, will put on a collaborative show in Main Square. This year, the Marsa Scouts Pipes and Drums and Wallace Pipes and Drums will be marching through the main streets of Birgu once again.

The Birgu local council would like to inform the public especially those who will be attending the candle light event on Saturday, that there will be a ferry service and pass boats from Valletta until 2am. There will also be a Park and Ride service from Garden Road, Zabbar, Triq Missjoni Taljana, Kalkara and Kordin (near the Hibs football ground) for the price of €1 per person. We encourage those attending to respect police orders to avoid parking problems and traffic. 


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