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YMCA festival starts today

The annual YMCA festival kicks off today, with proceeds this year going towards the YMCA's project for the homeless.

Classic films, a world-renowned hypnotist, delightful cuisine, and a 'human table-soccer' are among the items offered in this year's edition, the sixth.

The main aim of the festival is to collect enough money to provide shelter for the estimated 300 homeless people in Malta.

International hypnotist Alan Bates, who has left an indelible mark on the Maltese, will be back to raise funds for this year's festival.

He will be holding a 'weight loss' seminar on the Bay Street Terrace tonight at 8 p.m., in what promises to be a unique event, during which he will attempt to condition participants to deal with their eating problems once and for all.

Tomorrow he will holding a 'stop smoking' seminar at the same venue. Tickets are available from the Bay Street Hotel reception on 2138-4421/5.

One of the most anticipated events, the six-day open-air film festival, will be held in Great Siege Square, Valletta, in which patrons will be invited to sit on comfortable sofas under the summer moon (see page 26).

All films start at 8 p.m., and entrance is free of charge.

One of the activities running during this year's YMCA Valletta Festival is 'Citynights', an evening festival taking place on Freedom Square and at the Opera House in Valletta between July 6 and 13.

Several attractions will be set up in an attempt to revive Valletta in the after-business hours.

International cuisine and entertainment will be provided in an event aimed at trying to bring various cultures together.

Attractions include a tropical garden, entertainment by some of Malta's finest artists, professional international dancers and musicians, go-karting, a mini-luna park, and a human table soccer.

Details about the YMCA Valletta Festival may be obtained from http://www.ymcavalletta.org/festival.

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