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Sunday, February 12, 2017

133rd edition of the King's Carnival in the French riviera town of Nice

Carnival joy filled the French riviera town of Nice on February 11 as it welcomed the 133rd edition of the King's Carnival, the city's biggest public event since the July 14 truck attack that killed dozens of revellers. The opening ceremony began with one of this year's themes, the "King of Energy", with floats echoing various sources of energy: electric, fossil fuel, solar, wind, as well as humans.

Blasts of confetti fell over stands filled with smiling and cheering carnival-goers as dancers and floats made up of giant effigies animated the parade. Security remained a top concern for the carnival after Islamist attacker Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel killed 86 people by ploughing a truck into a crowd watching Bastille Day fireworks on the Promenade des Anglais.

Daniela Schubert, a carnival-goer from Marseille, said she was enjoying the colours and the event's ambiance. "Aside from the extra security, no the vibe hasn't changed," she said. A perimetre was installed around the carnival and crowds of revellers queued for security checks. Floats carrying giant figures of the main player's in France's presidential election such as conservative candidate Francois Fillon, socialist Benoit Hammon and the far-right's Marine Le Pen were paraded through the crowd.

A giant creation of U.S. President Donald Trump sitting on barrels of oil was one of the 17 floats that rolled through the streets of Nice. Following a tradition dating back to 1294, the Mediterranean city has been transformed into a festive landscape. Around 390,000 visitors are expected to join the festivities which run until February 25.


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