Nice Carnaval 2001: Millennium King

The Nice Carnaval 2001, entitled "Millennium King": Programs, where and how to buy tickets, photos and reviews. More photos and reviews will be added as the Carnaval progresses.

Nice Carnaval 2001: Millennium King

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 2, 2001

From February 8 to 27, weekends and Wednesdays will be action-packed as the Carnaval goes into full swing. Important note! There is free access to standing areas for people in fancy dress (costumes) for the Carnaval and Light Parades.

Quick note: "Carnaval" is the French word for "carnival".${QuickSuggestions} Weather is chilly but not really cold - daytime temperatures range from 10°C to 16°C (50°F to 60°F), with plenty of sun. At night the temperature drops to around 5°C (40°F). Recently there have been small rain showers from time to time, so it's a good idea to bring an umbrella.${BestWay} Walking or public transport. The Carnaval takes place in the city center, Place Masséna, so there are plenty of buses (the bus station is in fact right next to Place Masséna), and with the beautiful weather we're having, walking is an excellent way to explore the surroundings.

Carnaval 2001, Day 1 (Feb. 8)

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 16, 2001

The entry of Carnaval King ("Millennium King" this year) was stormy. Just before his scheduled appearance, a major thunderstorm rolled in, which meant that I and my partner decided to stay in our dry apartment! Nonetheless, the following day I went to Place Masséna to see the King. There would be a photo, if my scanner hadn't gone kaput on me...!

The "Millennium King" is jolly, about 2 stories high, and fat, resembling a sort of modern Bacchus, with colorful papier-mâché followers beneath him. He's set in the center of the stands surrounding the Place, so that all the parades can pay homage. In itself the king's not very interesting, I have to say.

My recommendation is "somewhat recommended" based on accounts I heard from others and the city newspaper. The only event was that the king rolled in, with 1500-odd schoolchildren escorting him - no other parade floats.
Carnaval de Nice
5 Promenade des Anglais
Nice, France, 06000
+33 4 93 928282

Mardi Gras - Canceled?!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on March 1, 2001

After missing the final weekend's celebrations due to freezing temperatures and a magnitude 4.8 earthquake, Mardi Gras was canceled due to high winds, rain and continuing near-freezing temperatures.

Disappointed? Yes. Did we stay at home? Heck no! My partner and I had originally been invited to watch a Scotch-Irish pipes and drums group play in the Carnaval, but since it was canceled, they took us along with them to a Provençal restaurant for a night of Ulster Scots festivities. Also present was the BBC for a documentary - stressed out because they'd apparently counted on the Carnaval parade to make up a large part of their film, we had to stage some "natural" fun to make up for it. After they stopped filming, the real fun began :)

The band played some highland music, and two of the best bagpiper soloists in the world (finalists in the World Championships for adults and juniors) played traditional songs. There were also two world championship snare drummers present who amazed us with their near-impeccable sense of rhythm (nearly, after all, they'd had a bit to drink and it was just after dinner! That being said, their "near" sense of rhythm was nonetheless superior to that of many professional musicians!).

All in all, it was a night we'll never forget, perhaps not traditionally French but definitely in the spirit of Mardi Gras. I don't know what recommendation to put, since technically there's nothing to recommend - well, let's say "highly recommended" for those who refuse to let a cancellation dampen their spirits!
Promenade des Anglais
Ave de Bellet east to Jean Jaurès Blvd
Nice, France, 06000
+33 4 92 14 48 00

Carnaval Programme

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 2, 2001

A * denotes events with free access. For other events, you need a ticket (see my entry on how to make reservations).

Thursday February 8
9:00pm: * Arrival of His Majesty Carnaval, and over 2000 children Place Masséna

Saturday February 10
2:30pm: Flower Procession
9:00pm: Light Parade

Sunday February 11
11:00am: The Carnaval "Dip", Ruhl Plage (On the beach)
2:30pm: Carnaval Parade

Wednesday February 14
2:30pm: Flower Procession

Saturday February 17
2:30pm: Flower Procession
9:00pm: Light Parade

Sunday February 18
2:30pm: Carnaval Parade

Wednesday February 21
2:30pm: Flower Procession

Saturday February 24
2:30pm: Flower Procession
9:00pm: Light Parade

Sunday February 25
10:00am: * Waiters race, Place Masséna
2:30pm: Carnaval Parade

Tuesday February 27
2:30pm: Shrove Tuesday Parade
9:00pm: Incineration Parade Fireworks

Tickets and Reservations

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 2, 2001

Reservations can be made at Nice or by mail (regular post). Online reservations are, unfortunately, not possible.

Prices are as follows:
  • Flower Processions (Saturdays), Light Parades (Saturdays), and the Grand Closing Parade: Tribune: 120 Francs - Entrance: 60 Francs.
  • Carnival Parades (Sundays), Flower Processions (Wednesday): Tribune : 100 Francs - Entrance : 50 Francs
  • Children: Children under 8 years of age have free access to standing areas or seated on parents laps in tribunes.
  • There are also discounts for disabled persons who have a card showing at least 80% disability. Reserved area: 50 Francs for the disabled person and one accompanying person, Tribune seats: 80 Francs for the disabled person.

    Remember there is free entry to standing areas for people in fancy dress (costumes) for the Carnaval and Light Parades!

    In Nice, individual tickets may be bought at:
  • Office du Tourisme & des Congrès, 5 Promenade des Anglais. From Monday January 29 to Saturday February 3: 9am - 5.30pm. From Monday February 5 to Tuesday February 27: 9am - 5.30pm.
  • Office du Tourisme & des Congrès, Gare SNCF (main railway station), Avenue Thiers. From Monday February 5 to Tuesday February 27: 9am - 1pm and 2pm - 5pm
  • Payment accepted in cash or VISA credit card.

    On the day of the event, external ticket offices will sell tickets for each event. Flower Processions and Carnival Parades: from 11am. Parades of Lights: from 6:30pm. Payment accepted in cash.

    To buy tickets by mail (regular post), you'll need to fill out an order form which you can find online here:
    Postal Order Form

  • Carnaval Parades Programme

    Member Rating 0 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 2, 2001

    His Majesty Carnival will arrive on Place Masséna with pomp and ceremony, surrounded by revelers in deafening turmoil amid contagious collective joy. During his ephemeral reign, frivolity will know no bounds; originality and exuberance are required behavior.

    The parade will consist of some twenty decorated floats, with musicians from all over the world, troupes of entertainers, and street artists to encourage the public to participate in the various masquerades. On Saturday evenings, "Light Parades" will brighten up the heart of Nice.

    On Mardi Gras, which marks the end of Carnaval, a final parade will liven up Place Masséna. The same evening, in keeping with tradition, His Majesty Carnival will march for the very last time, escorted by his executioners to burn in a bonfire by the sea. As always, Lent wins over and fireworks will close the festivities.

    Decorations and Illuminations

    Member Rating 0 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 2, 2001

    Huge panels illustrating the Carnaval theme are raised all around Place Masséna, behind tribunes and mounted on posts facing surrounding buildings so they can be removed in the event of high winds. Along with festive garlands on avenue Jean Médecin, thousands of multicoloured lights begin twinkling in Place Masséna as soon as night falls, rivaling the starry night.

    As Carnaval burns on the evening of Mardi Gras, the Castle Hill (just east of the Promenade des Anglais and Old Nice) will also light up with countless Bengal lights magnifying the splendour of the fireworks over the sea.

    Flower Procession Programme

    Member Rating 0 out of 5 by A. Stevenson on February 2, 2001

    The first Flower Procession ("Bataille de Fleurs", literally "Flower Battle") was organized on the Promenade des Anglais in 1876. Soon, the timid exchanges of bouquets between rich winter visitors' decorated carriages developed into a major show that is now an integral part of Carnaval.

    Today the Flower Processions are true parades of some twenty floats, all decorated with fresh flowers. The Riviera's most beautiful models, in glittering dress, smile and throw thousands of flowers into the crowds of spectators along the Promenade des Anglais.

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