Weekend: Skating, historical giants and short films!

Fans of roller sports have a date with Roda Barcelona on Saturday and Sunday, in Av. Martí-Codolar. The second edition of the event offers skating and related activities for novices and hardened skaters alike. As from today the city is also the scene for the Pi neighbourhood’s local festival, otherwise known as the Festes de Sant Josep Oriol and attended by Mustafà, Elisenda, Oriol and Laia, four of the oldest giants in Catalonia. Elsewhere, and up until 2 April, the Arts Santa Mònica will once again be screening the best national and international short films as part of the Mecal festival.

Roller skates, skateboards, longboards and scooters will be wheeling their way around the Horta-Guinardó district over the weekend. As many as ten wheeled sports disciplines will be represented at the second edition of Roda Barcelona, the big event for roller sports, which grow in popularity every year. Highlights include the Cursa dels Mistos, a half marathon on roller skates, and the Ruta Urbana, a route for participants to cover on wheels. Check out the programme for the two days of sport in the neighbourhood of La Teixonera and don’t forget your phone or camera if you want to take part in the photo competition on Instagram and Twitter using the hashtag #ViuelRoda.

Festivities for Sant Josep Oriol combine tradition and new features

The Pi neighbourhood is all set to celebrate one of the longest local festivals in Barcelona, the Festes de Sant Josep Oriol. The festive atmosphere clicks in this afternoon, even though celebrations officially start on Saturday with the proclamation speech and the dances by the four original Pi giants, which are among the oldest in Catalonia and only come out once a year, on this day. The first reference to Mustafà and Elisenda dates back to 1601, and Oriol and Laia, 1780. In the afternoon there will be a human towers gathering by the Castellers de Barcelona and their counterparts from Cerdanyola del Vallès, and in the evening, the traditional Retaule de Sant Josep Oriol, a  theatre performance telling the story of the life and work of the saint. The following day it’s the turn of Lleó and the Mulassa, two of Barcelona’s historical beast figures, as they welcome other beasts from Catalonia, namely the Àliga de la Patum de Berga and the Carpa and the Porró from Vilanova i la Geltrú. Festivities continue until 26 March, with an agenda packed with popular culture activities for people of all ages.

The Mecal offers the best animation and fiction at the Arts Santa Mònica

The Arts Santa Mònica once again hosts the Barcelona International Short and Animation Film Festival, otherwise known as the Mecal. The nineteenth edition of the festival is on from 14 March to 2 April and offers a selection of the best national and international short films. As a new feature this year, each week is exclusively dedicated to a genre. Short animation films will be screened from 14 to 19 March, and from 23 to 26 March it will be the turn of fiction and the Obliqua section. Finally, documentaries will be screened from 30 March to 2 April. The programme and parallel activities are based around the corresponding genre for each week. Film students can apply for a free festival pass.