The countdown has begun for the 140th anniversary edition of the Nice Carnival which will blast off on February 15 and run until March 6. The theme this year is ‘King of the Five Continents’ in a nod to the global marketplace and to the fact that Nice will be hosting the French-speaking Games later this year.
A king must have a queen of course and, as in past years, the queen will be selected from among a bevy of local beauties. With duties that range from smiling and posing to waving and throwing flowers for the Flower Parade, it’s a job for the toughest of the tough. Bear that in mind when you cast your vote for the Carnival Queen here.
The Nice Carnival has accrued a number of traditional elements over the years: the Carnival Parade day and night editions; the Flower Battles; fireworks; the burning of the King; and a series of “off” events that take place in Nice neighborhoods. (see more on Nice Carnival traditions) Each year there is also a new element to keep the festival fresh. This year’s festivities will include the “Rock n Roll Carnival 10 Miles” which is a charity event involving music and, of course, running. Why ‘of course’? Because Nice Mayor Estrosi is an extremely sporty guy who never misses an opportunity to organize runs on the Promenade des Anglais. Others may enjoy the ‘Bain de Carnaval’, a charity swim.
Another welcome innovation this year is the schedule. Previous Carnival events have conflicted with Menton’s Lemon Festival and Mandelieu’s Mimosa Festival, a huge disappointment to those hoping to ditch work and spend an entire three weeks partying on the French Riviera. Not this year! The calendar of events has been coordinated to allow festival fiends to catch all three events.
And how much is this bucket of fun? Tickets are €20/25 for a seat in the stands and €10 for standing on the sidelines but there are two ways to get a freebie: mill around Jardins Albert 1er where the parade launches or put on “fancy dress” and head to a special entrance on Place Masséna.
For more information and reservations, see the Nice Carnival website.Follow me!