Veronica: Carnaval in Nice

February 17, 2010
I went to Nice for Carnaval this past weekend, and it was absolutely amazing. If you get the opportunity to go, GO! It started hundreds of years ago. I got there for the opening ceremony on Friday. There were thousands of people (and the number of people just kept going up all weekend). At the opening ceremony there were lots of balloon floats and acrobatics and people dressed up in crazy costumes. They also unveiled the two main floats of the festival at the end of the ceremony, after the countdown.
There were two parades on Saturday; the Flower Parade, and the Parade of Lights. We had to pay for admission for these, so we watched through holes in the fence during the Flower Parade and paid for the Parade of Lights. That was a good choice. The Flower Parade was cool, but the Parade of Lights was a thousand times better. And, most of the same floats were in both parades, and there were more, different ones at night. It cost 10 Euros to stand, and honestly, that was the best thing to do. I was right up in the front with the floats passing 6 inches in front of me.

There are tons of people and loud music, even during the day when there weren’t any events going on. It was such a fun time. I think tons of silly string and confetti must be bought/used for Carnaval. I ended up taking home handfuls of confetti without trying, and there were people trailing silly string from hats and coats and hair. It was a mess, but it was amazing.

The one thing that I was surprised about was that Carnaval wasn’t a 24-hour party all day and all night. After an event, people left, went shopping, etc. Then they came back for the next event, and then left when it was over. I was expecting it to be more like Carnival in New Orleans, and it wasn’t like that at all. It was the most fun I’ve had in my whole life. And I’m not exaggerating. It was the best weekend ever. I’m having trouble finding words to explain to you how much fun and how incredible it was, it was that good. So, to find out what I mean, buy a plane ticket (or train ticket) to Nice for Carnaval next year. If I can swing it, I’ll be there.

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