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The Carnival of Annecy and La Clusaz


The Carnival of Annecy and La Clusaz

Tradition of the carnival dates from many years back. This festival takes its origins in Antiquity and then it is used by the Catholic Church. Its development expands in Europe and worldwide. Its celebration is different all around the world, and today we tell you the story of the Carnival of Annecy and the one of La Clusaz.

Lake side - The Annecy Carnival History

The association ARIA, built from a collective of Italian professors took birth in 1995.
In 1997, willing to bring a bit of Italian culture to France, the latter organized the first gathering and that's how the first masks wander around the streets of the city of Annecy ...
In 2006 the event grows and nearly 200 masks are gathered and the party lasts over three days. Today, the Carnival of Annecy is the second largest masks gathering in the world and counts this year between 400 and 500 masks from Switzerland, Belgium, Italy and France together with nearly 70 000 spectators from any region.
The opening of the Carnival at the Imperial Palace:
Saturday, March 9th from 2 to 6pm: In order for visitors and local people to see and for the enjoyment of photographers, the masks will walk in the grounds of the” Parc Charles Bosson”.
Saturday 9th as from 6pm: Meet us at the Hip Bar for a free concert with an Italian acccent! 
Sunday, March 10th as from 4pm: Find the masks again in the “Parc Charles Bosson.” 
From March 9th to 17th: Enjoy the Venetian Menu specially concocted for the event in the restaurant Le Riva.
Find the full program of the Annecy Carnival here.
 In short, The Venetian Carnival of Annecy: 
  • Nearly 500 masks roaming the streets. 
  • An active association with nearly 70 active volunteers for the duration of the event 
  • 70,000 visitors. 
  • 21 students from Lycée Sommelier in Theater Costume section who will parade with their own creation. 
  • Wanderings on Saturday March 16th and Sunday March 17th in the unusual places of the “Venice of the Alps” to discover the city.

Mountain side - The History of the Carnival of La Clusaz

Let's gain altitude by discovering the Carnival of La Clusaz.
As far back as the inhabitants remember, the Carnival was born in the 30’s-40’s, but then it disappears with the war.
It was only in 1974 that the village choir recreate an old wedding with genuine clothes that will later give birth to the "Lou Socali" Folkloric Group. For its part, the French Ski School (ESF), also decides to adorn itself for Mardi Gras in the theme of the ceremony of the World Championships of 1901.
In the streets of the village of La Clusaz, men and women dressed as champions of bicycles with inner tubes around their necks strolled about!
In the years 2000, the Carnival has become an institution and shopkeepers closed their shops to get dressed and even the City Hall closed its doors!
Today, the Carnival of La Clusaz is more than ever in the heart of the festivities of winter, expected by tourists as much as by the inhabitants of la Clusaz. The ski school, the tourist office, the town hall, the associations ... all play to the game and disguise themselves according to the themes of their choice to spend an evening blazed by the rhythms of laughter, joy and entertainment.
The program this year:
  • On Monday march 4th and Tuesday March 5th from 10am to 7pm: rent or buy your costume at the “Salon d'Honneur” of the Tourist Office.
  • Tuesday, March 5th from 10am to 1pm and from 2pm to 5.30pm: free make-up workshop for children, registration with the Tourist Office.
  • Tuesday, March 5th from 7pm: colourful parade in the streets, fireworks and concert on the “place Grenette”!