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Strasbourg Carnival 2024: Shake off the winter!

There's nothing like chasing off the winter blues with atmosphere, music and colour. The Strasbourg Carnival is a not-to-be-missed event in the European capital. Every year in spring, the streets of the city come alive to offer a festive and convivial moment to its inhabitants and the many visitors who come to chase away the winter. In 2024, the Strasbourg carnival will take place on Sunday 24 March from 3.11pm on the theme "Let's shake off the winter!

The programme for the Strasbourg Carnival 2024

The Strasbourg carnival will be held on Sunday 24 March 2024 under the theme "Let's shake off the winter! Here's the full programme:

  • 1.30pm - Start of the workshops: learn a few rhythms or dance steps before joining the Cavalcade.
  • 3.11pm - Launch of the parade - place de l'Étoile (rue de Vienne at the corner of the Cité de la Musique et de la Danse)
  • 4.00 pm - Arrival of the first troops - place Kléber
  • 5.00pm - " Bada Boom! a family dance party for all generations by Vladimir Spoutnik and his team - place Kléber

Highlights include:

  • The carnival parade, featuring dozens of decorated floats and a host of local and international festive troupes. Their colourful costumes and infectious good humour help to make this major event a success.
  • Creative workshops for children, introducing them to juggling, rhythm and percussion, hip-hop dance and fresco painting. Participation in these workshops is subject to registration (until March 17).

Carnival traffic and parking

On 24 March, get ready for changes to traffic and parking. From 9am to 6pm, the route de Vienne will be closed between avenue du Rhin and quai du Général Koenig. From midday, access will be restricted along the parade route for your safety.

Parking will be prohibited in and around the parade route from 1am to 8pm.

I recommend that you come by tram (get off at Étoile Bourse for the start of the parade) or by bike. If you're coming by car, good luck. The Rivétoile car park is closed on Sundays. So where can you park? You can try the Neudorf or Quai des Alpes car parks. Alternatively, there's the Austerlitz car park (for a fee) at the Krutenau.

The origins of the Strasbourg carnival

The Strasbourg carnival is steeped in Alsatian history. Originally, this festival marked the last moment of festivity before the seriousness of Lent, allowing the inhabitants to indulge in ephemeral pleasures.

Over the centuries, it has evolved, incorporating elements of folklore and social criticism. In keeping with the tradition of Rhineland carnivals, Strasbourg's carnival is a free-for-all. It's a time for role reversal, debates on religion and politics, and a humorous assessment of the major scandals that have shaken the city. So traditionally, it's a spectacle of joy and satire, where the streets come alive with colour and music.

After the 1870 war, Strasbourg's carnival was revived by the German occupiers, using German and Swiss traditions. However, this version was quickly disowned by the Alsatians, who preferred to promote their own culture and make fun of the occupiers. The festival was finally abolished in 1902 and lost in the back and forth between France and Germany.

The Grand Cavalcade: the grand parade of Strasbourg Carnival

The grand cavalcade is undoubtedly the highlight of the Strasbourg carnival. It traditionally starts at 2.11pm from the Place de l'Étoile and finishes at around 4pm in the Place Kléber, after wandering through the streets of the Krutenau and the city centre.

Every year, the parade attracts thousands of people who come to admire the elaborately decorated floats, listen to the lively brass bands and let themselves be carried away by the popular jubilation. Some people (young and old) also have fun dressing up to join in the fun and make the spectacle even bigger.

Entertainment and workshops for children

Activities are usually organised before and after the parade on Place de l'Etoile and Place Kléber. In 2024, there will be workshops in Place de l'Etoile to introduce children to juggling, rhythm and percussion, hip hop dance and fresco painting. Participation in these workshops is subject to registration (until March 17).

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About Thibaut
Strasbourg Website
Strasbourgeois in love with my city, I make you discover my city through my photos and the places I appreciate. Also happy father of 2 little girls.
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