For its 131st edition, Nice’s Carnival on the French Riviera has great news this year : for the first time, a French carnival will officially welcome a gay parade! On February 27 at 9PM, the Lou Queernaval parade will start from the Massena square and march on the streets of Nissa la Bella, led by the King and Queen of Carnival, with dancers, floats and artists. Dressed spectators will join this huge rainbow party in a whirlwind of music and glitter.
Lou Queernaval and its Feb 27 night corso respect the purest Nice carnival tradition. The floats will be colourful and mixed, along with Brazilian batucadas troops and African percussions, transformists in their most dazzling outfits, hip hop dancers, contemporary dancers and zumba dancers, joined by a rock band and many live artists.
This first French gay carnival, open to everyone, free, is proposed by Nice’s LGBTQI community and supported by the municipality and the tourism board. Lou Queernaval’s marshalls are French artist Mado la Niçoise, 2013 Mister Gay France Armando Santos, Eurovision 2015 French representative Lisa Angell and tenor Samy Camps.
In addition to the big parade, a lot of festivities and entertainment are planned in every gay and gay-friendly venue in the city, to extend the carnival fever throughout the weekend.
The organization of this first French gay carnival on the French Riviera is no surprise to those who saw Nice evolve in recent years. With over 110 gay and gay-friendly places, a favourable local policy to gays and lesbians, Nice has become the gay-friendly capital of the great French south. Member of ILGTA - International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, Nice launched in 2011 the "Nice Irisée Naturellement” label, to promote a friendly welcome to all visitors.
For the co-chairman of the organizing committee, Jean-Louis Longo, this gay carnival is in Nice’s DNA: "Carnival, since ancient times, is the perfect time to mix up the codes and standards, reverse the roles and functions while making fun of our society’s flaws. Lou Queernaval makes sense in our city! With this event, Nice, Nissa la Bella, the rebellious shows the world that it respects and welcomes all love! »
With over a million visitors, Nice is the third most popular carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro and Venice.