A look at this year’s IFEA Annual Conference location: enjoy the beauties of Nice!

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Nestled between the summits of the Southern Alps range and the Mediterranean Sea, Nice, capital of the French Riviera, has stood as a major destination for international tourism for more than 150 years.

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Blessed with 300 days of sunshine a year and a very specific light that has inspired the greatest paint masters and film makers for more than two centuries, Nice shines over its 2,000 year history.  Thanks to its international airport (1stafter Paris CDG), Nice draws visitors from all over the world, all year round. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IN-40Aa5OPQ

IFEA EUROPE’s ANNUAL CONFERENCE 2014 goes behind-the-scenes at the world-famous CARNAVAL DE NICE, and explores how festivals and events truly become city trademarks and messengers of cities’ identities. 

The Nice Carnival is one of the world’s major carnival events, alongside the Brazilian Carnival and Venetian Carnival. It is held annually in February in Nice on the French Riviera.

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The earliest records establish its existence in 1294 when the Count of Provence, Charles Anjou, spent “the joyous days of carnival”. This probably makes the Nice Carnival the original carnival celebration.

Today the event attracts over a million visitors to Nice every year. The Carnival spans a two-week period with the final day on Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday).

The carnival on the Riviera is one of the largest carnivals in the world, offering a programme of unforgettable entertainment … from 14th February to 4th March 2014.

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The carnival processions, comprising 18 floats work their way up to a crescendo of gigantic decorations on the Place Masséna.

These giant, colourful parades take place day and night, with entertainment provided by over 1,000 musicians and dancers from across the world.

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In a unique setting, on the Promenade des Anglais, the elegant “flower battles” are part of the carnival not to be missed. On floats decorated with the most stunning floral compositions, extravagantly dressed characters throw out mimosas, gerberas, and lilies into the public.

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For over 15 days, the city hums to the rhythm of this genuine, fairy-tale event … get a passport for the celebration and let the magic do its work … come and forget the dullness of winter and take in the sun on the French Riviera!

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The Carnival “King of Gastronomy” will follow the re-launching of the “Nissarde Cooking” label while remaining loyal to its vocation of universality. What better way to discover a community than being invited to their table? For the guest of honour, with the 60th anniversary of the twinning of Nice with Nuremberg, Germany was an obvious choice.

Le Carnival Parade is made up of eighteen floats designed on the year’s theme and other figurines, including 30 in traditional papier mache in a colourful parade with dazzling colours, with the participation of street theatre and music groups from all over the world. In the evening all the floats are illuminated and the evening parades light up the heart of Nice.

Each Carnival represents an original shortlived production. Being a Carnavalier is not a profession, but a passion or a vocation. The large workshop where these craftsmen work, called the “Maison du Carnaval” is transformed into a magical setting for several months.

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It was on the seafront, along Promenade des Anglais, that the first Flower Parade (Flower Parade) was held in 1876. Soon, the timid exchanges of bouquets of flowers between the rich winter visitors’ decorated carriages developed into a prestigious show, now an integral part of Carnival.

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Today,this event promotes the quality and large variety of Riviera flowers as some 90% of flowers used are produced locally. 20 flower covered floats parade along the promenade des Anglais between the Théâtre de Verdure and the Hotel Negresco.

The development and conception of the floats is a long and meticulous task which nonetheless has to be carried out within a very short lapse of time.

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On each float, costumed models throw 80 to 100.000 flowers to an enthusiastic crowd : gladioli, tokyos, mimosas, gerberas, daisies, roses, carnations…
These “battles” are staged on the same theme as the Carnival floats. The costumes are designed in a workshop entirely dedicated to their creation.They are unique creations as for theatre performances.
This event is one of its kind in the world and features among the most famous of the French Riviera. Nice exportes its know-how in the fields of elegance, beauty and the charm of these flower parades.

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The Place Massena, emblematic Carnival venue, has recovered the tradition of Carnival Parades, the departure point for a loop around the Albert 1er gardens. On the square, visual Entertainment is broadcast on giant screens. For evening évents, the floats are illuminated and the parades light up the heart of Nice.

 It has been long since a IFEA Annual Conference was held during such a magnificent event…so join us and join the fun!

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