The 2017 carnival begins in Nice tomorrow and runs until 25th February. Nice’s carnival is one of the biggest carnivals in the world, now in its 133rd year and it attracts almost a million spectators annually. 240,000 tickets have already been sold with six million euros going in to the creation of the festival.
Speaking at the Carnival 2017 press conference on Monday, President of the Metropole Nice Côte d’Azur Christian Estrosi assured everyone that high security measures are in place for carnival.
The region’s security budget has been increased to €100,000 (compared to €70,000 in 2016). 65 mobilised police officers will be stationed at each exit of carnival, 45 of them controlling traffic. Building on the 1,650 cameras that are installed around Nice, a further fifty (roughly) will be installed around the perimeter of carnival. There will be no fireworks this year and Estrosi recommended that spectators come without a bag and without luggage for a smoother entry into the festival.
It has also been recommended that spectators and general inhabitants of Nice leave their vehicles at home when possible due to the numerous road closures and traffic diversions in place for the duration of carnival, particularly around the Masséna zone and the Old Town.
There are a few directional changes on roads and the length of the Promenade des Anglais (from the Hotel Negresco to the Old Town) will be closed for event. A bypass will be set up by Boulevard Carabacel and another will be set up by Boulevard Gambetta and Rue du Maréchal Joffre owing to the closure of the Promenade des Anglais. Although there are particular times (6pm until 9pm for the Parade of Lights and 11.300am until 2.30pm for the Flower Parade) in which road closures are in place, it’s likely the traffic will be interrupted for the duration of the festivities.
The car park in Place Masséna will be closed two and a half hours prior to every performance and the Jardins de la Promenade du Paillon will also be closed to the public.
Carnival 2017 promises a modern showcase whilst preserving its heritage and emphasising Nice’s resilience. The President of the Metropole Nice Côte d’Azur has said that the festivities of carnival contribute to the identity of Nice: “We will not and cannot give it up [on this event].”