Reporting from Paris: The Côte d’Azur sure knows how to party. Today’s press conference was held at the Brazilian tent in the Champs-Elysées Christmas market, a place known for its warm welcome. The occasion? To promote the three fêtes de l’hiver (winter festivals) that take place on the French Riviera. Surrounded by fragrant mimosa blossoms and decorations from the Carnaval de Nice, tourism officials presented the Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) that takes place in Menton; the Fête du Mimosa (in Mandelieu-La Napoule) and the Carnaval de Nice.
The South of France isn’t just a fun destination in the summer months; a pleasant year-round climate and abundant sunshine means that winter, traditionally the off-season, is a great time to go, especially for these February festivals.
Noteworthy: This is the first time that the local Tourism Offices have coordinated their calendars together, so that the festival dates overlap-- meaning it’s possible to plan a coastal jaunt that would take in each of them. (The Carnaval de Nice takes place from February 15- March 6; the Fête du Citron de Menton is February 16- March 6, and the Fête du Mimosa de Mandelieu is from February 15-24). Tourism officials also emphasized the family-friendly nature of these events, which isn’t the case in some Carnival celebrations around the world.
What’s in store: More than 20 days of events; flower fights; colorful costume parades and the crowning of the Carnaval Queen; 100 different troupes staging street performances; 145 tons of citrus fruit; 12 tons of mimosa flowers; and- to conclude the Carnaval de Nice—an enormous fireworks display and the burning at sea of the giant cardboard head of the Roi du Carnavel. For more information, visit www.cotedazur-tourisme.com
Photo via Twitter.com/MaryWNicklin