The town of Agueda, just twenty minutes away from Aveiro by car, and 30 minutes by train (the journey involves travelling on an an old fashioned single gauge railway line which is pretty different for a start) hosts the annual AgitAgueda festival. The festival starts in July with two weeks of concerts, craft stalls and food outlets and the installation of hundreds of rainbow coloured umbrellas through the streets of Agueda – providing shade and a splash of colour to Agueda’s shopping streets.
Now in its third year, the festival gets bigger and better as time goes on, with even more people attending each year. The festival may only last two weeks but the umbrellas are floating on high for three months from July to September. Known as the Umbrella Sky Project, the umbrellas have featured on blogs and news sites across the world, including the Daily Mail in the UK.
This year the festival had a Pop Art theme which was introduced via walls and benches painted with Andy Warhol inspired images. Lamposts are also painted to match and this year there was even an old Mini decorated and parked at the end of the street which was a real attraction for anyone with a camera. One street had gone one step further with brightly coloured balls floating through the sky.
Local businesses get involved in a big way, decorating shop fronts and shop windows with umbrellas, both real and hand made. It’s not just the businesses located on the main streets of the festival that take part – walking from the station the umbrellas dotted around the streets almost guide you to the main part of Agueda.
The project is on until the end of September and is definitely worth a visit.