Hundreds of excited children lined the streets of Palma yesterday to watch the parade of giants, one of the highlights of the city's San Sebastian fiestas. The parade started at the Avenida Jaime III and made its way through Plaza Juan Carlos, Plaza Weyler, up Olmos, along Calle San Miguel, through the Plaza Mayor and ending at Plaza Cort, where they were welcomed by members of the city council. Some of the bolder children took part in the parade, dancing and jumping around the groups which were accompanying the giants, parading for the fifth year. The giants came from all over Majorca, and groups from Catalonia and Aragon had also been invited, but only one group, from Fraga in Huesca managed to make the trip. The hosts were the two giants of Palma's city hall, who usually stand guard just inside the main doors. The others came from Alaro, Inca, Manacor and Llucmajor, each accompanied by its own group of musicians. And as happens so often in Majorcan fiestas, there were plenty of demons on hand, teasing the children and giving the younger ones a fright. The parade, which included several stops for exhibitions of dancing, took three hours. More and more people joined in the parade as it went along the streets, and so there was a sizeable crowd when they finally arrived at city hall where they were greeted by Maria Josep Frau and Carme Feliu, heads of the citizen participation and culture departments, who had organised the event. Last year, 28 giants took part in the parade, but this figure was reduced to 14 this year, although their welcome was just as enthusiastic. Certainly the spirits of the organisers were not dampened and Vicenç Reynés, who helps look after the city giants, said that next year they were hoping it would be an international event, with giants from Portugal and France. For those more interested in Majorcan dancing, Sis Som, Quart Creixent and Tracalada provided music at Ses Voltes from 11am for anyone who wanted to try to join in traditional Majorcan dances. The San Sebastian fiestas continue today with the photography marathon which starts in the Plaza Mayor at 9.30am, and an exhibition of antique cars, which can be seen at the Borne from 10.30am and is the prelude to a vintage car rally which will be held here in the spring. The Borne will also be the setting for a trapeze show at 12 noon. In the evening, there will be a Correfoc, or running with fire, from the Avenida Antoni Maura along Plaza Reina, the Borne and Plaza Juan Carlos, with demons from various parts of the island and fire spouting animals. The council says that those wishing to take part do so at their own risk, and should wear cotton clothing, long sleeves and high collars, flexible shoes and a head covering. They should also use ear plugs. Dancing with the demons is allowed but they should not be pulled or pushed.


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