One of the largest carnivals in the world is held on the sunny French Riviera. The colorful parades of the Carnaval de Nice entertain visitors, both young and old. For the 3rd year in a row, we joined in the fun during the elegant Bataille de Fleurs or Battle of Flowers. The Nice Carnaval Battle of Flowers is Lucy’s favorite event. She loves dancing to the music, seeing the gorgeous floral displays and admiring the extravagant costumes.
Each year the carnaval gets a new theme. For 2017 the theme was King of Energy or Roi de l’Energie. The carnival craftsmen showcased different forms of energy in their designs such as fossil, solar, electrical and renewable. The theme was even present in the 17 flower covered floats with the use of pinwheels, lightening bolts, fuel & electrical plugs.
One of the big draws for Lucy is taking home a bouquet. She loves catching flowers after they’re thrown in the air and then making her own arrangement. While this year it wasn’t the mega bouquet she usually comes home with, she did manage to get mimosa’s, roses, carnations, tulips and a red anthurium. It is, after all, a bit of a competition to snag the nicest specimens.
- The first flower parade took place in 1876. During this time, young ladies dressed in their finest clothes paraded down the Promenade in decorated carriages. They exchanged bouquets of flowers with each other and admirers.
- This year celebrated the 133rd carnaval in Nice.
- Children under 5 are FREE, but must have a free children’s ticket for entry.
- It can take between 40 hours to create a simple costume and 200 hours for a complex costume, such as for the Queen.
- Twenty florists attach flowers to the floats 72 hours before the parade.
- 75% of the flowers used in the parade are produced locally.
- The Carnaval takes place for a period of 2 weeks in mid-February.
This year the parade followed a new route in a 100% secure enclosure. If you plan to attend this yearly event in the future, be sure to allow extra time to get through security! Also, note that you can’t see the parade without a ticket. The Battle of Flowers is exempt from the free entry offer if dressing in full costume. That offer is only valid for the Carnaval Parades.
Don’t miss this unique event on the Cote d’Azur! Experience the thrill of the Nice Carnaval Battle of Flowers with exquisite costumes, elaborate hairstyles, charming floats and beautiful floral displays.
These photos are from the 2017 Carnaval. The 2018 Carnaval de Nice runs from February 17th – March 3rd.
Disclosure: We were guests of the Nice Tourism board during Carnaval. As always, all opinions are 100% my own and may differ from others.