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A Treat for Bay Area Locals

Posting in "Money-Saving" because these events are free. . . .

The Castellers de Vilafranca ( Catalan Human Towers) will be visiting the Bay Area this week, as part of San Francisco's Catalan Week celebration. They will be creating their amazing towers at various locations, including Chrissy Field, Sonoma, and the Stanford and Berkeley campuses.

https://www.castellersdevilafranca.cat/san-francisco-catalan-week/

Posted by
3915 posts

Oh, wow! We saw castellers in Barcelona a few years ago - pure serendipity - and they were amazing. We stood there for what seemed like hours with our jaws dropped.

I would urge anyone who is in the area to go. Go.

Posted by
11676 posts

Yes! But it looks more like a promotional tour than a neighborhood celebration. They will get tours of the Google campus, go to a basketball game, and other events in addition to forming two Human Towers each day. The one other even I can find is on Wednesday when they go to Sonoma; apparently one of the wineries is having cooking demonstrations, “flamenco” dancing (not Catalan), and other activities.

https://www.visitcalifornia.com/ca/event/catalan-festival

Posted by
1780 posts

Thanks Lola for sharing, very interesting! Although I think they made another slight error in their marketing as they depict a paella, which is a traditional Valencia food not Catalan, they should maybe have put up an image of some Calçots and Butifarra sausages on the grill, yum :)

Posted by
11676 posts

Yes, I noticed the paella problem as well. Blame the hosting winery, Gloria Ferrer, for that. Many people here confuse tapas, paella, flamenco, etc. and do not understand the regional differences.

Posted by
1104 posts

Here's a summary of the Berkeley campus event:
The castellers did a short parade march from Sather Gate to Sproul Plaza accompanied by pipes and drums,
went down to the lower plaza in front of the Zellerbach concert hall, and spent about an hour forming five or six
towers of different configurations - most were 6 levels high, but one was 10 !
The last setup featured 4 across of the littlest members, who pulled out two Catalan flags, a CA state flag, and a flag of the USA.

Everyone was in the usual laid-back and friendly mood that we associate with Catalunyans; they even invited us to help buttress the tallest tower. The details were interesting - no eyeglasses during the formations for safety reasons; the smaller climbers use the wide black sash that everyone has belted around their middles as toeholds to get up on to the shoulders, etc. The rhythm during the climb down was just as important as during the climb up to avoid any falls...

Posted by
1104 posts

Great t-shirts abounded in this group --
one read "Som el Peu"
which is Catala for "I am the foot".
Each level in the human tower structure has a name,
and there is a conductor who calls instructions and spotters who scamper around the perimeter to keep things going smoothly....

In the crowd there was someone wearing a t-shirt with an Occitan joke that went something like -
Why are we speaking 'american'? Because we're just waiting for the whole world to learn Occitan!

Posted by
11676 posts

Thanks for the great report! I wish we could be there to see it. We are on our way to the Bay Area now but will not reach San Francisco for ten days.