2 upcoming traditional maritime festivals in Antibes

1. Fête de la Saint Pierre

Today, Friday 26 June is the first day of three days of celebrations for Fête de la Saint Pierre that runs until Sunday 28 June in Antibes.

Saint-Peter (Pierre) is the Patron Saint of fishermen, and he is honoured every year with processions through the streets, dualing competitions on pointus (traditional fishing boats), games, water sports displays, night parades with paper lanterns, regattas and music.

Fête de la Saint Pierre, Antibes (image: Ville d'Antibes Juan les Pins)

Fête de la Saint Pierre, Antibes (image: Ville d’Antibes Juan les Pins)

The locations of the festival – Plage de la Gravette on Antibes port, Antibes old town and Bastion St Jaume are accessible for families with baby buggies or wheelchairs.

For the programme itinerary click on the following link (in French): http://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/agenda-culturel/autres-manifestations/icalrepeat.detail/2015/06/26/2092/-/fete-de-la-saint-pierre-2015

2.  Fêtes de Notre Dame de Bon Port

Next week, another maritime-related festival also occurs in Antibes – Fêtes de Notre Dame de Bon Port from Thursday 02 July to Sunday 05 July.

Since the ninth century, barefoot sailors carry the virgin statue of Notre Dame de Bon Port (Antibes’ protector) to the Antibes cathedral on the first Thursday of July, then return it to the Garoupe chapel the following Sunday.

It is a unique sight to see the sailors dressed in their white and blue outfits walking barefoot to Antibes with the statue on their shoulders – it not an easy parade for the sailors as they descend via the chemin du Calvaire which is rocky and uneven – I’m amazed how they manage to do this barefoot!

Fêtes de Notre Dame du Bon Port, Antibes (image: maville)

Fêtes de Notre Dame du Bon Port, Antibes (image: maville)

If you are an early-riser (!) you may catch the parade either to or from the Garoupe chapel which is on the Cap d’Antibes – the best location for accessibility and views is to situate yourself along Plage de Ponteil (Salis beach) near Antibes which is flat and has lots of vantage points (automated pay public toilets are located by the carpark across from Hotel Josse) – for the festival programme (in French) click on the link for further details: http://www.antibes-juanlespins.com/agenda-culturel/autres-manifestations/icalrepeat.detail/2015/07/02/2094/-/fetes-de-notre-dame-de-bon-port-2015

NOTE: To watch the processions, attend the masses at the Cathedral and enjoy the festivals is free of charge for the public.