NICE CARNIVAL. The historic carnival kicked off its 150th edition on the theme of “King of the Treasures of the World”. Rates, program, disguise, all practical information.

[Updated February 17, 2023 at 11:01 a.m.] The Carnival of Nice celebrates its 150th edition until Sunday, February 26, 2023 on the theme of “King of the treasures of the world”. During this annual event, 5 illuminated carnival parades of 16 floats, five flower battles, and nearly a thousand artists put on a show in front of nearly 100,000 spectators. “May Nice be this place for all the meetings of the universality of the most beautiful heritages in the world”, announced the mayor of the city Christian Estrosi.

During the Carnival of Nice, the city is transformed, the King, the Queen and their subjects put on their most beautiful costumes to parade. Nearly 150 pieces including some traditional big heads parade on floats. After François Hollande, Nicolas Sarkozy, Jacques Chirac, Ségolène Royal or Manuel Valls, the bosses of GAFAM are also entitled to their big heads.

The Carnival of Nice has several highlights, starting with the arrival of the King who collects the keys to the city on Place Masséna. This arrival marks the beginning of the festivities. Another highlight is of course the Carnival Corso with its parade of floats, emblems of the event, which punctuate the days and evenings. Another moment not to be missed is of course the famous Battle of Flowers during which participants can send flowers to each other in a joyful battle. At the same time, around twenty groups of artists, musicians, professionals or amateurs, impose rhythm and colors on each Corso Carnivale and Bataille de Fleurs. Finally, the election of the Queen of the Carnival of Nice is made among the models of the Battle of Flowers.

The carnival offers two very distinct events: the Carnival Corso, day and night, and the Battle of Flowers, another side of the Carnival, more poetic. The course of these two events takes place within the completely secure enclosure of the Promenade du Paillon (place Masséna, boulevard Jean Jaurès, avenue Félix Faure and crosses Flandres-Dunkerque) and the stands are located on Place Masséna and throughout Avenue de Verdun, another novelty this year. “A more family and quiet atmosphere than in the stands at Place Masséna, but just as festive!”, announces the mayor of Nice.

Each year, the Nice Carnival takes place over two weeks, and encompasses three full weekends in the month of February. Some years, the festivities can nevertheless continue on the first days of March. The Carnival of Nice takes place from Friday February 10 to Sunday February 26, 2023. Each year, the carnival has a title which determines the imposed theme. The title of the Nice carnival for the year 2023 is the King of the Treasures of the World.

Each year, the Nice carnival is organized around an imposed theme. The 2023 carnival theme is King of the Treasures of the World, so the costumes must match the imposed theme. Confusing costumes (religious, military or offensive) are prohibited. Guests in full costume may enter the Carnival Corso and Illuminated Carnival Corso in the Promenades free of charge.

The costumes for the parades are created in an ephemeral workshop dedicated to the Carnival by costume designers from the entertainment world who juggle with original fabrics and materials, giving free rein to the imagination. It is of course possible to access the carnival as a simple participant, by even making your own carnival costume. Many disguises in animals, fruits, vegetables, plants are observed each year during the carnival of Nice. Extravagance and aesthetic beauty remain the hallmarks of revelers.

The Carnival of Nice attracts nearly 200,000 people and to protect this major event, “one of the most beautiful banners of tourism” according to the prefect, the city of Nice mobilizes many private agents, municipal police officers, gendarmes and a fifty CCTV cameras since the attack that hit the Promenade des Anglais. The route of the famous parade around Place Masséna is now completely cordoned off and all tanks are subjected to recurring mine clearance tests. Finally, the payment of an entry ticket is mandatory to cross the controls of the 36 security gates.

For security reasons, blunt, sharp or pointed objects, even dummy weapons, fireworks, firecrackers, sparklers, glass or metal containers (cans, glass bottles and all metal bombs , sprays, including Carnival serpentine yarn bombs), suitcases, shopping bags and other bags and luggage, as well as motorcycle helmets, are prohibited.

Like the Carnival of Venice, that of Nice has a long history since it already existed at the end of the 13th century. Having become a veritable popular festival in the 14th and 15th centuries, the Nice carnival took the form of grand balls and parades in the old town. While in 1871, the episode of the Commune worried the aristocracy and the big bourgeoisie, everywhere in France, the city of Nice tried to carry out a promotional campaign in order to bring wealthy visitors to it. It was then that a festival committee was created in 1873 which took charge of the organization of the Nice carnival to make it a real spectacle. Very quickly, the symbol of the carnival becomes Sa Majesté Carnaval, a giant puppet. Three years later, in 1876, the Batailles de Fleurs were created by Andriot Saëtone on the Promenade des Anglais. Originally simple exchanges of flowers, they have become the poetic and elegant side of Carnival. As for Her Majesty Carnival, she becomes the master of the city each year during the two weeks of winter festivities, making this event one of the most famous carnivals in the world with that of Venice and Rio.