Nice Carnival parades begin Friday, Feb 14, and continue for 3 weekends. This is the premier winter event on the French Riviera, and the parades draw thousands of spectators each year.
The parades are great fun for the whole family. The floats have large fans that blow confetti into the crowds, and the spectators retaliate by dousing the floats with silly string!
The parades have a different theme each year, and the float designs and construction take months and months of work.
The elaborate costumes and make up are beautiful, and the performers have a flair for drama, often remaining in character, similar to a Cirque du Soleil performance.
Nice has both a day parade and an illuminated night parade. Plus an entirely different "Battle of the Flowers" parade.
The night parades are slightly more fun!
And to expand on the fun, the beautiful city of Menton hosts its own festival ~ Fete du Citron ~ over the same time period on alternating days. In Menton, they celebrate citrus, which thrive in this mild Mediterranean climate. The floats in the Menton parade are made from lemons and oranges.