Q: I have read your page on La Mercè and would love to attend the street fire displays. From the pictures, it looks an exciting event but is it safe to have fireworks sprayed into the crowds of spectators?
A: You have raised a good point. The event is exciting, and sometimes people get caught up in the atmosphere without taking adequate safety precautions. It is worth ensuring you have the right clothing if you intend to be right in amongst the Correfoc. If however, you are standing well back from Via Laietana (the main road on which the fire run takes place each year) you should be OK however you won't have the best views of the event.
|You can see that the goggles and protective clothing worn by participants of the Correfoc. Note the use of clear plastic goggles.|
We recommend you wear protective clothing that covers all exposed skin. The level of protection depends on how close you want to get to the event. You have the opportunity actually to enter the route on which the Correfoc takes place; however, if you decide to do this, you really do need proper protection. This would include plastic goggles, and full length sleeved top and trousers, a scarf or hood to cover your head made of non-flammable material and protective plastic goggles and leather gloves. There are also loud bangs and explosive sounds going off continuously from firecrackers. If you feel nervous about loud noises, then bring earplugs as well.
If you decide to stand behind the barriers along the route of the Correfoc you would be much safer. However, it is still recommended to wear protective clothing, goggles or glasses if you intend to stand close to the event. This will prevent stray sparklers or debris entering your eyes.
Generally if the sparklers touch your clothes they normally fizzle out quickly. However, sparklers entering your eyes can cause serious damage, and it is highly recommended you wear adequate eye protection. You can buy clear plastic goggles from most hardware stores. Choose the type that fully encloses your eyes to prevent anything from entering from the side.
Buy your goggles well in advance - preferably from your home before you arrive. Tens of thousands of people are attending La Mercè, and local stores quickly sell out of goggles.
If you suffer from asthma or other respiratory illness you may wish to avoid Barcelona centre during this event. The air will be filled with smoke, and fine debris and people with breathing difficulties may be affected.
For more information of the dates for the Correfoc (fire run), Gigante (Giants parade) and the Castellers ( Human Castles) including locations see the following page on our website: La Mercè Festival