The biggest winter event on the French Riviera takes place between 13th February and 1st March
One of the largest Carnivals in the world, the Nice Carnival takes place every February. The earliest mention of Carnival merrymaking in Nice goes back to 1294, when the Count of Provence is referred to having spent “the joyous days of Carnival” in Nice. The current Carnival format dates back to the late 19th century when themes were chosen and great care was taken in decorating floats. The first Flower Parade was held in 1876 along the Promenade des Anglais.
This year the opening festivities of the Carnival took place on the evening of Friday 13th February and were followed by the first Flower Parade of the Carnival on Saturday 14th. The centre of Nice will be enlivened by these colourful parades every Wednesday and Saturday during Carnival fortnight. The Parade is made up of eighteen floats designed around the theme which this year is the “King of Music”. Alongside the parade will be 30 traditional papier maché figurines and various street theatre and music groups from all over the world. On Saturday and Tuesday evenings all the floats are illuminated and the evening parades light up the heart of Nice. The Place Massena is the starting point for a loop around the Albert 1er gardens. Giant screens will broadcast the entertainment to all the carnival-goers.
On each float, costumed models will throw 80 to 100.000 flowers to an enthusiastic crowd including gladioli, mimosas, gerberas, daisies, roses and carnations. Some 90% of the flowers used are produced locally so the event is an important showcase for the local flower industry. The costumes are designed in a workshop entirely dedicated to their creation.
The festivities will close on the evening of Sunday 1st March with a spectacular firework display which will be free to all. http://www.nicecarnaval.com/en/index.php