LISBON’S MOST famous street, the Avenida da Liberdade, is going to be the centre of attention this year as part of the capital’s plan to make the area an international attraction.
The Junta de Freguesia de São José is celebrating its 440 year anniversary and is planning to host numerous festivities throughout the year to commemorate this historic landmark.
From March 19 until November 20, a programme of activities based around Avenida da Liberdade, Praça da Alegria and other venues in the capital city, will attract residents and tourists to concerts, theatre performances and fashion shows.
According to João Mesquita, President of the Junta de Freguesia, he hopes “to do everything he can to make Avenida da Liberdade as internationally respected as the Champs-Élysées in Paris or the Passeio da Castelhana in Madrid.”
The “Avenida in August” is the main attraction of the celebrations and will involve a month of street parties including pop concerts, fashion exhibitions, parades and street theatre, all taking place along the Avenida.
The Hard Rock Café will also be getting involved, helping to stage rock concerts at the Cinema Condes in the heart of Lisbon’s old town.
Once the renovation works are finished at the Praça da Alegria, the square will be another venue for musical entertainment, holding outdoor jazz concerts in partnership with well known venue the Hot Clube.
Furthermore, to commemorate 100 years since the death of the great composer Alfredo Keil, the freguesia plans to hold performances of his music as well as poetry readings from respected members of the Lisbon community.
In the coming days, the programme of activities will be presented to Amaral Lopes, the culture representative for Lisbon Câmara, who will approve and finalise the details the commemorative programme.
The president hopes the plans will help to “improve the downtown area of Lisbon and revitalize the Avenida, therefore creating profit for one of the few pedestrian areas of the city, which also acts as a link between the two sides of our capital.”
This year will also see the inauguration of the Social Centre of São José that will provide health care to the underprivileged sectors of the population. The centre is a result of a partnership between the Junta de Freguesia, the câmara and the Red Cross.
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