Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Aix-en-Provence Carnaval

I'm still sorting out my photo files and came across these pictures from last year's Carnaval. I can't believe I forgot to post these!

Spring time in Provence holds many joys but I think Carnaval would be our kids' favourite.


All the large towns hold one and we ventured in to Aix-en-Provence to enjoy their version in early April. We arrived about half an hour early to find a nice spot on the Cours Mirabeau, electing to camp on the grass around the Rotonde fountain at the head of the street.


As the crowds continued to build the hawkers made a good turn-over on balloons, confetti and cans of silly string.

The kids all get into the spirit and come dressed in costumes.


When all the best vantage points were taken the fountain itself became a viewing platform, probably the only time of the year the police turn a blind eye to such shenanigans.

"Nice hat, Bill" "Thanks, Frank"

The parade was late getting started and the natives got a little restless:


But finally the strains of the band could be heard and the floats began to inch their way down the Cours toward the fountain.

The theme for Aix's 2011 parade was Tim Burton's films and here are a few of the floats they inspired:

Alice in Wonderland

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Mars Attacks!


The parade came to a halt around the fountain (another good reason to camp out there) but the band continued to play and several characters disembarked to interact with the crowd.

These guys below look like they're carrying some kind of Ninja Turtle shell on their backs - they turned out to be fan-propelled streamer shooters. Awesome!


So glad I didn't have to clean it all up.


This strange contraption housed a sort of trapeze act:

Untraditional Scotsman was wearing underwear beneath his kilt. Spoilsport.

But the ladies were still suitably impressed:


Eventually the crowds dispersed and the clean-up crew was left to tackle everything left behind.

Carnage on the Cours


We only had the three kids back then and they all had confetti in their underwear at the end of the day, which we all know is the definition of having had a good time. I know that's how I rate my night out the next morning. "I can't remember a thing but it must've been good because there's confetti in my undies."


I really like finding forgotten Spring photos in the middle of winter. Gives you a mid-season reminder to keep holding on; it will be warm again soon(ish).


In the meantime we're embracing winter and heading to the Italian Alps on Friday for a week in the snow. I'll try to squeeze in another post before then and if I'm really clever I'll rig one to post while I'm away. Man, these Internets sure are nifty.

Hope you're all having a great week!


Betty said...

Wonderful photographs!
I loved every one of them.
Amazing acts and beautiful children. Wouldn't you always like to have confetti in your hair (last photo)?
Better than in your undies ...
(another gathering point is your bra)

Michelle said...

This looked like so much fun! Why can't they have such a wonderful theme for a parade here in the States! Your pictures are beautiful and make everything seem even more amazing! Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

This is just what I needed this morning, on a very wet & grey winter day in Vancouver. Good thing you forgot to post the pics last year.
I guess the French Scotsmen just aren't the real thing. In that contraption a real one would have done quite the highland fling!

Susan said...

What a great spectacle! Reminds me of the old Moomba Parades in Melbourne in the 60's and 70's. They're not quite the same nowadays. Have a great time skiing and snowing!!!

Poppyprint said...

Have a wonderful time in the snow!! That parade looked amazing - I can't believe how full on they go for the floats. I must be so boring, I can't say I've ever found confetti in my undies.

This post gives me renewed hope for our trip: people are wearing shirtsleeves in early April! Gorgeous pics, as always.

Marg said...

I must have led a very quiet life, I never found confetti in my undies the next morning, darn it.
Great photos and commentary as always Kirsty.

Maaike said...

perfect celebration Kirsty! Love the undies story ;)
And the bone tights next to Bill and Frank are interesting too...

Have fun in the snow!


A Treasured Past said...

"I can't remember a thing but it must've been good because there's confetti in my undies."...hehehe that is so funny.

The Carnaval looks amazing, love the Mars attacks head. Enjoy your week, away, Tam x

AL said...

Fabulous! Those parade floats are superb and such a lot of work and detail. And lucky you heading off to the snow...wish you could post some to me!

Eva said...

Beautiful pictures, as always! :-) These are so full of cheer and colour! I love the floats, I'm a big Tim Burton fan.

I'm another person who's noticed she's been having fun wrong all her life, because no confetti in undies over here, either.

Have a great time in the snow!!! :-)

blandina said...

How nice, you perfectly got the spirit of Carneval in your pictures. They put me in a good mood, they are so festive.
Have a nice time in the Italian Alps, I wonder where you might go!

Virginia said...

OH this is a wonderful collection /collage of this wonderful day. Oh how I wish I could have joined you. WE would have had some great fun photographing it all together I think.

Sara Louise said...

That Mars Attack float looks pretty creepy though.

Lisa said...

Fantastic photos. I love the statue draped in blue streamers.

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