Our Blog - Carnaval

Normally, Carnival happens prior to Lent and Easter, but in France, things are a bit different :-). It seems each city, if they want to do something, can decide which day the festivities will occur. Nice has a large celebration which runs for about 2 weeks or so at the end of February, and Dunkirk seems to have one that runs for 3 months! We had initially planned to go watch the parade in Toulouse, but with the unexpected change in the dates for our US trip, we were going to miss it. Fortunately for us (unfortunately for our roof), there were really, REALLY big wind storms that came through last week/week-end and the parade was postponed until this Saturday, and we were back for it! The mayor starts off the parade by giving the keys of the city to the Carnaval-ers, and then the parade runs down rue Alsace-Lorraine (from just after the Monoprix) to rue de Metz and the follows rue de Metz for awhile.

We got there a bit early to "stake out" a good place to see the parade, but also to allow us to get to our dinner reservation near Place Wilson (GREAT restaurant called Eau de Folles). These first ones are before the start, and you can see the people in the streets before the parade started, along with a large fire-breathing-dragon-boat (complete with smoke!).

The parade was lead by Madame Mantis, a large praying-mantis float. From pictures I've seen on the web, it lit up at the end of the parade (I cannot confirm tho, we left before the end)

The first of a few videos that I took, this one was the 2nd thing in the parade and was a drum band. As you will see from the other videos, drum bands were very popular.

Next came a bunch of people dressed up with balloons, some with more balloons than others. You can see all of the confetti on the ground, and this was just the start! By the time we left for dinner, we were covered with confetti and had to try to get it out of our hair before dinner. The various parade groups were throwing confetti into the crowds as they went by.

Second video, this was a little kids dance group.

Then there was this dragon float, also spewing smoke out of the nose.

Finally, came the fire-breathing-dragon-boat (that we saw before the start of the parade) along with all of the various people with it, including a guy with red eyes on stilts.

This video is is another drum group.

Kinda cute, this one looked like a big pink pig!

And then a penguin-band :-)

These were just kinda cute ... no idea what they were meant to be.

This one seemed to be a Brazilian-themed group

There was float that looked like a sphinx followed by a set of belly-dancers.

There was more, but we had dinner reservations that we needed to get to, so we headed out at that time.