Mayors of Porto and Gaia toast São João and common projects


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The mayors of Oporto and Vila Nova de Gaia met yesterday in the middle of Luís I Bridge to mark the beginning of Saint John’s night and to toast the union of these two cities and the projects in common.

As in previous years, except for those marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the two mayors fulfilled the tradition they have maintained since 2014 and, even before 6:30 pm, they met in the middle of the crossing that connects Porto and Gaia to shake hands and toast the union with port wine, thus kicking off the longest night in those cities.

“I hope people have fun, cheer up the city, forget their sorrows, eat a lot of sardines, and use a lot of leeks and hammerheads,” asked Porto’s Mayor, the independent Rui Moreira.

Wishing everyone a “good St. John’s Eve”, the “portuense” referred that the weather is good and the streets are full of people, namely tourists.

“It’s all mixed up. You hear Portuguese, English, French, Spanish,” said the mayor of Vila Nova de Gaia, Eduardo Vítor Rodrigues.

Hoping it will be a “great night,” the socialist recalled that the two cities are united, not only by the bridge, but also by many projects in common.

The celebration of what is considered the longest night of the year is back in Porto, with dancing, balloons, hammers, sardines, and fireworks, which will once again enliven and fill the main streets of the city of Porto.

The usual stage at Aliados will again be replaced by three stages: one at Largo Amor de Perdição (in the Cordoaria area), one in the gardens of the Crystal Palace, and another at the Casa da Música square.

Tonight, Emanuel and Cláudia Martins and Minhotos e Marotos take the stage at the Largo Amor de Perdição at 10pm. In the gardens of the Palácio de Cristal, Miguel Araújo and the Fogo Fogo group will take the stage, while Bruno and Moullinex will perform at the Casa da Música square.

This year, the launching of Saint John’s balloons is only allowed between 9:45 pm and 1:00 am, on Saturday, during which time Porto’s airspace will be closed.

In the Ribeira area, the traditional fireworks show begins at midnight and will last for about 16 minutes. The fire will be launched from the banks of the Douro River, barges and the upper deck of the Luís I Bridge.

No lighting and fire structures will be placed on the lower deck, in order to facilitate the opening and circulation of people before and after the fireworks.

The Luís I Bridge is closed to pedestrian traffic from 11:00 pm until 1:30 am, Saturday, on both decks.

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