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Blanes (Catalan pronunciation: [ˈbɫanəs]) is a town and municipality in the comarca of Selva in Girona, Catalonia, Spain. During the Roman rule it was named Blanda or Blandae. It is known as the "Gateway to the Costa Brava". Its coast is part of the Costa Brava, which stretches from Blanes up to the French border. The township is 18.29 km². Blanes is a popular tourist town, and it is known for the Concurs de Focs d'Artifici during the Santa Anna festival; this event includes a lot of fireworks. Other places of interest include a botanical gardens, coves, such as the Cala Bona, and beaches which are surrounded by mountains.
The population in 2014 was 39,293.
One of the botanical gardens in Blanes is the Marimurtra, which covers almost 15 hectares. It includes over 4000 different plant species and is visited by 300,000 people every year. Another garden is the Pinya de Rosa, which consists of over 7000 different plant species.
The Festa major or feast of Santa Anna and Sant Joaquim (on the 26th) are usually celebrated in the 3rd or 4th week of July, between the 21st and 27th annually. During the eight days, the major feasts are celebrated as well as the European Concurs de Focs d'Artifici which attracts more than 500,000 visitors. This is an international competition in which various countries from around the world participate. Over 500,000 kg of fireworks are used at each event. Most people watch the fireworks from the beach.
The fireworks competition nearly always runs in the last full week of July, with the final show often taking place on a Sunday. In 2014, the Saturday night show—traditionally the busiest of the event—saw a record crowd of 250.000 people. 2016 marks the 46th edition of the competition, which will take place July 22–26
Prior to 2012 the competition ran for five consecutive days. At the height of Spain's financial crisis it was decided to drop to four days as a money-saving measure. In 2016 enough sponsors were found to restore the fifth day of the event.