Feel the buzz at Cholet Carnival!

The Cholet Carnival - Unmissable events - Atlantic Loire Valley, France

A hundred-year-old event

Founded in 1906, Cholet Carnival was initially a celebration of Lent. The burning of the float for the pyre symbolised the start of the fast, during which people abstained from eating meat and fat.

Floats as impressive as ever

The event originally features small floats with a few decorations, nothing like the large-scale creations that now parade through the streets.

Carnival organisers behind the wheel

Throughout the year, the Amicale des Carnavaliers organisers' association works hard to create floats that are the envy of all of France. Some even go on to events in Nice or Granville!

Bigger and better every year

Experts in ingenuity, the 200 carnival organisers create wonders using the tools and materials they have to hand, showing incredible imagination to produce their creations. Some of these can reach 8 metres tall, 10 metres long and 5 metres wide! It is also possible to visit the workshops, which open up to the general public a few days before the festivities start.

A week of celebrations

All week long Cholet's heart beats to the drum of the carnival, from the opening ceremony to the night-time parade, not forgetting the music shows in the town centre, the day parade, the Children's Carnival and the traditional cycling race.

The night-time parade: the star of the festivities

Over the years, this big festive gathering has continued to grow, and its night-time parade is now the most well-attended in the country.

A flood of lights

During the night-time parade, around fifteen floats using a total of 300,000 lightbulbs and 6 km of electrical wire, parade over 2 kilometres. Alongside them, some thirty music groups, some of which have come from abroad, set the rhythm of the show.

Ever more sophisticated creations

The technology used to bring the procession to life and to light is constantly evolving, with stunning creations and a show that is more spectacular every year.

A guaranteed audience

The event now welcomes 100,000 visitors, some of whom travel hundreds of kilometres to come and watch the show!
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With its hugely passionate following, Cholet Carnival boasts a night-time parade that is one of the most spectacular in France! Here's a little look in pictures at this event that has been the pride of Mauges for over a century.

Every year in April, a festive influx brings the streets of Cholet alive. As well as the brass bands and music groups who come to set the atmosphere, various floats parade past the awestruck eyes of thousands of visitors, with each one more impressive than the next. These wonders are designed by the carnival organisers who work tirelessly for several months to bring their monumental creations to life.

The jewel in the crown of this crazy week is the night-time parade which closes the celebrations. Unmatched in France, it astounds visitors with its scope and the ingeniousness of the technological devices it uses. Inventiveness seems to know no bounds here, making this show absolutely essential!