During the day in Athens the streets are relatively quiet as visitors attend the Olympic games. But at night there is a party going on in Athens. Or more precisely, as VOA News' Brian Padden reports, there are a number of parties.

Mexican Lorenzo Arco is having a great time listening to the beat of Brazilian drums in the heart of Athens.

"It's Brazil. It's my brother. My country, Brazil and Mexico, we are brothers. I enjoy it so much? Samba! Mariachi!" he exclaims.

But Lorenzo Arco would probably have a great time anywhere.

In contrast to the empty seats in Olympic stadiums during the day, crowds of visitors are packing the streets of Athens at night. The city of Athens is spending 4.8 million euros to entertain its Olympic guests. During the 17 days the city hosts the Olympics, 600 artists will perform on 13 stages. The acts range from the absurd?to good old American rock and roll.

Konrad Jazinski from Poland is impressed by the festive atmosphere.

"Good vacation, I think. People asking, 'where you from, hello'. So it's very nice," he says.

There is something for everyone. Loud and boisterous fans can dance themselves into a frenzy.

Those looking for something more spiritual can find it down the street with Gideon Jober and his Christian youth group from Germany.

"It's actually more than I expected," he says. "People are very open and friendly and they want to speak. They want to talk."

By staging these events in downtown Athens, city leaders hope visitors will leave with wonderful Olympic memories, and spread the word that Athens is a great vacation destination.