Revelry, feasting, drinking and orchestras this weekend in Lleida until the body can bear it. This Friday, with the traditional ‘Caragolasso’, a pyrotechnic show like a chupinazo, the Aplec del Caragol begins, the great popular festival of Lleida in which, until Sunday, about thirteen tons of snails will be eaten: a la llauna, a la gormanda or in sauce. In beer alone, San Miguel, official supplier of the festival, expects that the supporters club members will drink 70,000 liters, 5,000 more than what was drunk in the three days last year.

The 43rd edition reaches a new record with 15,000 supporters clubs spread across 119 supporters clubs, four more than in the last Aplec del Caragol, with 500 new supporters clubs. With their fun and colorful t-shirts they give color to the Camps Elisis, the place that houses the booths. As is tradition, the names of the clubs are fun. ‘Recuperats’, ‘La Grossa’, ‘Tocats de la Bola’ and ‘Barranc dels Rucs’ are those chosen by the new ones this year.

Declared Fiesta of National Tourist Interest and Traditional Fiesta of National Interest, the Aplec del Caragol de Lleida, the biggest Catalan gastronomic fiesta was held in a caracolada by a group of friends in the now defunct Choperal del Río Segre. Forty years later, it moves record figures and has an impact on the local economy which, according to the assessment of local experts, pending a formal study, the Federation of Colles de l’Aplec del Caragol de Lleida (Fecoll) figures at 20 million of euros

“With the infrastructure that exists in Lleida for hotels and restaurants, everything is full, experts from the University of Lleida and consulting firms on the economic impact of events anticipate, without having done a specific study, a business of more than 20 million in impact.” ” says Ferran Perdrix, president of Fecoll. This figure includes expenses in hotels, restaurants and shops in the city’s Eix Comercial, tourist visits, travel and supporters’ club expenses.

“What we spend, during the weekend, through the purchasing center and what the clubs spend is valued at two million euros,” says the president of the federation of clubs. Looking ahead to 2025, Fecoll plans to write a study to put concrete figures on the business of a party that is on the calendar of Lleidans living anywhere in the world.

The Sunday parade, to which many supporters arrive without sleeping, is one of the most fun moments; some neighbors, from their balconies, usually pour water on the participants to cool them down.

The groups begin to gather at 8:30 in the morning on Josep Tarradellas Avenue to parade through the city divided into two different streets. As they pass through Plaça Bores, before returning to their booths, the mayor, the socialist Fèlix Larrosa and the president of Fecoll, as is tradition, will give them Aplec commemorative cockades.

This Saturday, as a novelty, a children’s parade will parade. The smallest peñistas will parade with the banners of their peñas. “The idea – says Perdrix – responds to the commitment of the current board to give more prominence to minors within the celebration, with the clear objective of making them active subjects of the celebration and not mere observers.”

In each edition there are more activities within the program designed for the smallest members of the club, “since they are an important asset of Aplec and not only because the continuity of the festival depends on them, but also because as ours is an intergenerational festival, “It is necessary for children to feel totally integrated.”