LISBON, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The Alfama neighbourhood in Lisbon won the 85th edition of the city's Popular Parade Monday night, Lisbon's company for cultural entertainment EGEAC revealed on Tuesday.
Thousands of people in Lisbon took to the streets to celebrate the local Saint Anthony festivities on Monday.
The annual Popular Parade on the Avenida de Liberdade (Avenue of Freedom) in the center of the Portuguese capital, was the highlight of the night.
Organized by Lisbon's company for cultural entertainment EGEAC, the event saw 23 groups from different neighborhoods participate, including the winner group from Alfama, with its members wearing colourful costumes and holding red hearts, as they danced down the avenue.
The theme of the Popular Parade this year was the Atlantic sea, with groups from different neighbourhoods in Lisbon competing for an award.
The groups descended the avenue in colourful costumes, dancing joyfully to Portuguese music. And 16 couples who got married at a church in downtown Alfama on Monday morning -- organised every year by the local council -- also took part in the parade.
The weddings of Saint Anthony were another highlight of the festivities, an initiative organized by the Lisbon council since 1997. Hundreds of locals stood outside the church in the historic neighbourhood of Alfama to see the televised weddings take place.
The couples then took part in a parade throughout the city in vintage cars.
The Saint Anthony celebrations take place from June 1 to July 1 every year, with locals drinking and eating on the streets, Portuguese pop music blasting on loudspeakers, and the smell of sardines inundating the city.
There are a number of events taking place throughout the month, including fado concerts, exhibitions, painting competitions and a parade for youngsters.
The total amount invested this year in the celebrations amounted to 1,354,350 euros, according to EGEAC.