Festival de Loire in Orléans
In June, festivities will begin on the banks of the Loire in Orléans in the run-up to September’s “Festival de Loire”, which will see some 200 boats come to this beautiful and historical city.
From September 18th-22nd, the capital of the Centre region is organising the biggest European gathering of riverboats. The town council is certainly aiming to make a splash with a five-day celebration of the city’s culture and lifestyle with over 600 sailors, 400 artists and almost 150 free activities to enjoy along a 2km stretch of quays.
A journey to discover distant lands
Guest of honour this year is Venice: gondolas and serenading gondoliers will transport festival visitors to the unique atmosphere of the famous City of Bridges, which together with its lagoon is listed as a World Heritage Site. And France’s waterways are not forgotten: the South of France will have pride of place at the festival with the Rhône, the Canal du Midi and the Pays d’Agde region… so typical lateen sails will definitely be bringing a touch of the Mediterranean sun to the skies above Orléans!
Activities for everyone
From Wednesday 18th to Sunday 22nd September and from 10am to 7pm, the festival’s 650,000 visitors can enjoy some 150 different activities which accompany the day’s highlights, such as the arrival of old gaffer sailboats, classic yachts and a musical boat parade on Sunday.
For all art enthusiasts, the good news is that Art O’Contemporain is back this year with its famous O’Fish Parade, an exhibition that presents extraordinary fish… this year 70 contemporary artists have taken up the creative challenge and will be showing a selection of 70cm long fish.
Younger children will appreciate the two educational workshops that will be running throughout the event:
- “Loire côté nature”, in partnership with Orléans Natural History Museum, will provide anintroduction to the different species living along the Loire as part of the Orléans’ year of biodiversity.
- “Les moussaillons” (ship’s lads) is an invitation to discover the river basin and its boats.
Foodies shouldn’t miss the Village de Loire where they can taste some of the Loire River’s gastronomic specialties.
And if you are interested in the Loire River’s typical lifestyle and culture, head for the Salon de Loire and discover the finest master craftsmen. And if you want just some food and some fun, there are seven open-air cafés and restaurants on the quayside.
Spectacular shows every evening!
From Wednesday to Saturday after sundown, festival visitors will gather along the quays for the evening’s spectacular entertainment. On Friday evening, a unique and original creation paying tribute to boats awaits and on Saturday, music and fireworks will keep the festivities going all night until dawn brings the last day of the festival.