Birgufest, Malta.Offering numerous cultural activities and means of entertainment, live shows and a beautiful historic background, Birgufest has become an annual national event, whose aim is to highlight Birgu (also known as Vittoriosa), and its value as a city reflecting in full the Maltese heritage. This year, it will be taking place from Friday 7th October to Sunday 9th October.

Organised by the Birgu Local Council, together with the Malta Tourism Authority and various other sponsors, this year’s three-day event will mark the 11th edition of this extravaganza – a plethora of musical performances, historical re-enactments, succulent food stalls, educational activities, and fun. All with the target of highlighting Birgu’s important role both in Malta’s past, as well as its present.

The highlight of the weekend will be the popular Birgu by Candelight, which will be taking place on Saturday 8th October after the sun sets. During this romantic evening, the streets will be gently lit up with hundreds upon hundreds of candles of all shapes and sizes; some set up by the organisers, while others even prepared by the locals themselves, who in a joyous marking of the celebration, adorn their doors, balconies, and windows with candles in order to be a part of the festivities.

In a bid to promote the historical background of the city, there will be a number of historic re-enactments around the city, extended and cheaper museum entrances, and the opening of other venues of interest, like the local churches. An artisan market and a number of stalls and hawkers will be present at Couvre Porte on all three evenings, from 7pm till late. Birgu’s ditch will be open to the public, as will the Auberge de France, which togather with other venues, will be hosting a number of art exhibitions. On Friday, there will be a live concert in Misrah ir-Rebha, which will include performances by Xarulu Acoustic Duo and The Travellers.

The lights will be switched off all around the city on Saturday evening, at around 6.30pm. This is when the magical atmosphere of Birgu’s medieval cobbled alleys, narrow winding streets and traditional houses will be lit up with candelight, creating an aura of mystery and romanticism. Various walks around Birgu, giving general views about the historical and architectural aspects of the city, will be available after 6pm. There will also be an artisan market, dancing and a fashion show will take place within the Auberge D’Angleterre, not to mention the live performances given at Saint James Tower by Malcolm & Band, and D-Banned.

Saint Anne’s Chapel, the Church of the Annunciation in Main Gate Street, and Saint Lawrence Conventual and Collegiate Church will be some of the buildings of interest open to the public and also offering live entertainment. The Inquisitor’s Palace in Main Gate Street, the Maritime Museum on the Vittoriosa Waterfront, and Fort Saint Angelo, will be open from 9am till midnight at a reduced rate of €2 per person. A Short Film Festival will be taking place in Fosse Street at 8pm on Saturday, while the main stage, where The Crowns and a number of other live acts, will delight the crowds, will be found within Pjazza tal-Belt Vittoriosa.

All these activities and more will be available, together with many stalls offering traditional food and drinks, mostly situated in Birgu’s Main Square, Saint John’s Tower Street, and Xatt ir-Rizq.

On Sunday 9th October, there will be more free guided cultural tours around the city as well.

Parking will be available at Fortini Football ground and next to the Bocci Club in Kalkara. There will also be a Park & Ride service between 6pm and 12.30am starting from Kordin to Triq il-Gubilew tal-Fidda, Birgu, next to the bus terminus, and back. Each trip will only cost €1 per person.

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