On the first weekend of July each year, Paris holds the Carnaval Tropical de Paris-a grand parade filled with dancing, music, and floats on the Champs-Élysées.
A Celebration Of Franco-Caribbean Tropical Culture
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This year, the wonderful, colourful event takes place on Sunday, July 2, 2023 at 1:00 pm and it is entirely devoted to the Franco-Caribbean tropical culture, where groups from many French overseas departments and regions participate in the event with all types of traditional Caribbean music and dancing. They come from places such as the French Antilles (St-Martin/Sint Maarten, Saint Barthélemy, Guadeloupe and Martinique), Reunion, and Guyana. This Caribbean atmosphere brings the tropics to Paris!
The Mairie de Paris and the Fédération du Carnaval Tropical de Paris have joined forces to put together this annual event which has run since 2001. I saw the parade in 2019 and the sidewalks along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées were packed (over 200,000 spectators), but you didn’t really mind because everyone is so happy with performers in colourful costumes and spectators dancing along to the Caribbean music. Due to Covid, the parade did not take place in 2020, but it was back in 2021 and 2022.
Carnaval Tropical de Paris in 2023
This year’s theme is “Colours of the World” and this free, family-friendly parade runs from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde. It’s an appropriate name as the 2023 parade expects to have around 30 groups from around the world over 4000 dancers, musicians, several bands and a dozen floats, providing lots of lively entertainment. What a wonderful way to celebrate the culture and history of the Caribbean.
Since the end of May and leading up to Parade day, the Federation Carnaval Tropical and the City of Paris have hosted concerts, parties and special events celebrating Caribbean culture. Special events included, a few months ago, the crowning of the King and Queen (le roi et la reine) of the Carnaval Tropical de Paris for 2023.
And in the past few weeks, the Queen Mother (la reine-mère) and Mini-Queen (la mini-reine) were chosen. Their appearances at the parade will certainly bring cheers. There is also a competition to choose the best group in various categories (ie. dancing, choreography, costume).
Caribbean Carnivals Around The World
If you won’t be in Paris on July 2 this year, don’t despair. There are almost 100 other Caribbean Carnivals that take place around the world, particularly Caribbean carnivals on the islands of Aruba, Bahamas, Jamaica, and Trinidad and Tobago. Beyond the Caribbean, you also have carnivals in Germany, The United Kingdom, The Netherlands, the United States (especially New Orleans), and Canada, where the largest parade takes place in Toronto. The 56th Toronto Caribbean Carnival will be held August 3–August 7, 2023).
The Tropical Carnival of Paris is a colourful, lively way to start off July in Paris. It will quickly be followed with more festivities on July 14 when the city celebrates La Fête Nationale…Bastille Day! If you’re in Paris on le 14 juillet, check out some of the things you can do to in this post: Your Guide To Celebrating Bastille Day In Paris.
Carnaval Tropical de Paris Parade
- Location: Avenue des Champs-Élysées (Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde)
- Date: Sunday, July 2, 2023
- Time: 1:00-6:00 p.m.
- Open: free for all ages
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