On-line Guide: Lou Queernaval: France's First Gay Carnaval
The Nice Carnival is an institution with a rich heritage rooted deep in the city and many generations of inhabitants. For the uninitiated, Carnival is derived from the traditional Christian festival, taking place before the beginning of Lent, marked by Mardi Gras. Some of the best-known traditions, such as carnal parades and masquerade balls were first recorded in medieval Italy. The legacy of these traditions is still visible in Nice's modern parades and entertainment programmes today.
One of the most colourful and large-scale in the world (coming close behind Brazil!), Nice Carnival is a cornerstone of the city's annual events calendar. Masks, floats, and puppets are recognised globally for their craftsmanship, a fact demonstrated in their television broadcasts around the world. The Carnival brings together each aspect of Nice's unique environment, culture, heritage, nature, sport, and diversity.
2015 is a special year for Nice not only as it celebrates 142 years of Carnaval and 131 years of musical spectacles, but it integrates France's first ever LGBTQ Carnival into the proceedings: Lou Queernaval.
In a concerted effort to show the best of Nice and push the carnival to an ever higher standard, the Lou Queernaval parade welcomes Nice's broad and colourful LGBT community into the heart of the Official Nice Carnival.
Mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi said: "Since 2008, I have wanted Nice to be a city where no one is left by the wayside- where everyone, no matter what their differences are, can grow, develop, invest and feel at home in our city. The City of Nice supports all associations in the fight against discrimination."
Lou is Queernaval is set to be a delightfully festive and popular event, open to everyone. It will take place on Friday, February 27 starting at 9pm passing through the official Carnival route. It will feature the fantastic (and enormous) King and Queen of Carnival floats, as well as many other floats and dancers from partner societies and businesses.
Find out more about the |Nice Carnaval on the Nice Carnaval Website (in full English).