Festival fun – all the facts

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As the health outlook continues to improve, the Côte d’Azur’s festivities are back in force this year! Here’s everything you need to know to make the most of these flagship events.

Nice Carnival

It all starts in Nice, with the traditional Carnival. Every year, thousands of people gather on Place Masséna to see the parade of giant floats, all decorated on a specific theme. This year, the spotlight is on “King of Animals”: the streets will be full of (presidential) crabs in a bucket, a gorilla animal defender or even a feminist praying mantis. You have been warned!

The programme includes two weeks of festive parades, illuminated carnival Corsos and flower battles, leading up to the traditional burning of the King on 26 February.

Practical details:

  • Dates : 11 to 27 February 2022
  • Free for children under 5 years old / preferential rates for 6-12 year olds
  • Prices and reservations

SEE ALSO: Nice Carnival: an important tradition of the Côte d’Azur

Menton Lemon Festival

Check out the famous Fête du Citron, an annual winter festival dedicated to citrus fruits. Five giant sculptures in sunny colours, entirely made of lemons and oranges, are exhibited in the Biovès Gardens, this year’s theme being “Opera and Dance”. Several tons of fruit were needed to make the sculptures and floats, and the parade playlist will include Samba, Salsa or even French Can Can!

Illuminated corsos and other events complete the festivities, with, in particular, the opera La Traviata and the ballet Gisèle.

Practical details:

  • Dates: 12 to 27 février 2022
  • Free for children under 6 years old / preferential rates for 6-14 year olds
  • Exhibition at the Biovès Gardens, Free Craft Fair and Orchid Festival
  • Prices et reservations

SEE ALSO: The history of the Lemon Festival in Menton

The Flower Naval Battle at Villefranche-sur-Mer

Another traditional festival: the “Flower Naval Battle”, at Villefranche-sur-Mer. In store for this 118th edition: carnival parades, folklore entertainment, a musical show and the famous flower naval battle.

In this historic festival, created in 1902, passengers on the ‘pointus’ boats are dressed in a magnificent traditional Provençal fisherman’s outfit. The public gathers near the shores to see them on their boats that are beautifully decked out with garlands, and catch the flowers thrown from the bay.

Practical details:

  • Date: 18 February 2022 from 1:30 p.m.
  • Location: Porte de la Santé and Villefranche-sur-Mer harbour
  • Free entry
  • Information from the Tourist Office: 04 93 01 73 68