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Paris Celebrates: Festivals & Events

Paris celebrates life all year long with a multitude of festivals and events. Here are just a few of the larger festivals, but be sure to look for up-to-date Paris event news in future posts.

The Tuilleries in Paris

The Tuilleries in Paris

Springtime Events in Paris

Foire du Trône
The Foire du Trone originated in the year 975, when merchants and farmers met to trade wine and grain. Now the venue includes a large amusement park and the event is said to be the biggest country fair in France.
Dates: Late March – Late May.
Pelouse de Reuilly in the Bois de Vincennes

 Paris Marathon

Paris Marathon to music

Paris Marathon to music

More than 22,000 runners participate in this great city marathon and Parisian event. Runners from around the world begin on the Champs Elysées, travel near the Louvre on their way to the Bois de Vincennes, then run alongside the left bank of the river Seine to the Eiffel tower and the Bois de Boulogne on their way to the finish line on Avenue Foch. The runners, their families and friends, then celebrate the day at bistros and out-door cafes throughout the city.
Dates: Annually in April

Summer Events in Paris

Les Grandes Eaux Musicales

Grandes eaux musicales de Versailles

Grandes eaux musicales de Versailles

These musical events re-create the ambience of the ‘ancient régime’ at Versailles, during which the fountains of the parks around the palace are turned on.
Dates: Early May – Early October

Fete de Musique
The music festival, which is celebrated every June 21, turns 31 in 2013 … this is one of the most anticipated events of the year. All day and all night, music lovers enjoy great programming. Known artists and young talents invest all places of the city streets, museums, gardens, bars, restaurants, churches … and offer the viewer a selection of all music.The full program is available a few days before the event at the offices of the Office of Tourism & Conventions of Paris and the site

Festival de Musique de St-Denis

This festival series features four days of fantastic, classical music in the burial places of French kings.
Dates: Early June

Gay Pride Parade

Gay Pride Paris
This huge, fun-filled parade is preceded by a week of parties and expositions at venues through- out the city.
Dates: Late June

La Villettte Jazz Festival

This well attended jazz festival features concerts held at Paris churches, auditoriums and concert halls with artists from around the world.
Dates: Late June – Early July

Bastille Day
A huge parade down the Champs Elysees begins the festivities celebrating the birth of modern-day France. This holiday celebration includes street fairs, culinary feasts, fireworks, and more.
Date: July 14th

Paris Quartier d’Eté 

This summer event in the Latin Quarter hosts pop orchestral concerts.
Date: Mid July – Early August

Le Grand Tour de France

Le Tour de France

Le Tour de France

This is Europe’s most famous bicycle race.
Dates: Mid July

Musique au Carrousel du Louvre
For five consecutive days, English, Austrian and French chamber orchestras hold concerts in the courtyards of the Louvre in this musical series.
Dates: Late August

Festival Musique en I’lle

This series of concerts featuring vocal music composed between the 17th and late 19th century,  The festival takes place in the churches of Saint-Louis-en-Ile, Madeleine, Saint-Germain-des-Prés and Saint-Etienne-du-Mont. At the heart of the Île Saint-Louis, a rich repertoire with works by great classical composers (Mozart, Caccini, Haydn, Bach, Handel, Messiaen), but also many polyphonic pieces (Russian, Georgian) and poetic songs as well as Russian Popular songs.
Dates:Late August – Mid September

Fall Events in Paris

Ile de France Festival 
Shows, walks, visits, in some 20 to 30 spots chosen for their historic or architectural value. This is a huge event with many venues.
Dates: September and October

Winter Events in Paris

Ice skating in Paris

Ice skating at the Hotel de Ville in Paris

Ice skating at the Hotel de Ville in Paris

From December until the beginning of March, the front plaza of the Hôtel de Ville is transformed into a giant ice rink – with guests and residents alike taking the opportunity to enjoy some seasonal skating. Best of all, the whole experience is free.

Festival Information

For more information regarding these or any other festivals please contact:

Office du Tourisme 
25, rue des Pyramides
75001 Paris
Tel: 0892 68 3000 (0,34 €/min)

Written by Terri Fogarty for

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