Every year the French city of Nice holds one of Europe’s largest carnival celebrations, attracting over a million visitors during its two week celebration. It is a tradition that dates back to the middle ages, associated with the Catholic tradition of Lent, and was intended as a way for the public to let loose, enjoy life, and escape the strict social conventions of the time. During the late 19th Century, the Carnavaliers of Nice began creating giant floats that were paraded through town for the amusement of an increasingly large population of tourists. The tradition continues today with street festivities, flower parades, fireworks, and the giant parade floats. In 2003 a competition was created for international cartoonists to submit concept designs for the floats.

Good King, Bad King (2006)
Good King, Bad King (2006)

Float design for the 2006 Carnaval de Nice theme "The King of Dupes."

Good King, Bad King (2006)
Good King, Bad King (2006)

The float.

Les Rois des Coqs (2007)
Les Rois des Coqs (2007)

Float design for the 2007 Carnaval theme "King of the Grand-Free-For-All" which combined the French Presidential election and Rugby World Cup.

Les Rois des Coqs (2007)
Les Rois des Coqs (2007)

The float.

Brasserie Ratapignata (2008)
Brasserie Ratapignata (2008)

Float design for the 2008 Carnaval theme "King of the Ratapignata" (a mythical rat/bat creature associated with the city of Nice).

Brasserie Ratapignata (2008)
Brasserie Ratapignata (2008)

The float.

King Pulcinella (2009)
King Pulcinella (2009)

Float design for the 2009 Carnaval theme "King of the Masquerades."

King Pulcinella (2009)
King Pulcinella (2009)
King Pulcinella (2009)
King Pulcinella (2009)

The float.

The King of Credit (2009)
The King of Credit (2009)

Float design for the 2009 Carnaval theme "King of the Masquerades."

The King of Credit (2009)
The King of Credit (2009)

The float.

Green Gargantua (2010)
Green Gargantua (2010)

Float design for the 2010 Carnaval theme "King of the Blue Planet."

Green Gargantua (2010)
Green Gargantua (2010)

The float.

Boules de Picasso (2011)
Boules de Picasso (2011)

Float design for the 2011 Carnaval theme "King of the Mediterranean."

Boules de Picasso (2011)
Boules de Picasso (2011)

The float.

Fellini, King of Rimini (2011)
Fellini, King of Rimini (2011)

Float design for the 2011 Carnaval theme "King of the Mediterranean."

Fellini, King of Rimini (2011)
Fellini, King of Rimini (2011)

The float.

King of Greek Loans (2011)
King of Greek Loans (2011)

Float design for the 2011 Carnaval theme "King of the Mediterranean."

Cyclops at Night (2011)
Cyclops at Night (2011)
King of Greek Loans (2011)
King of Greek Loans (2011)

The float.

King of Greek Loans (2011)
King of Greek Loans (2011)
Rock Star Float (2015)
Rock Star Float (2015)
The Aging Rock Star (2015)
The Aging Rock Star (2015)

For the 2015 Carnival "The King of Music"

Feeding The Michelen Man (2014)
Feeding The Michelen Man (2014)
Gargantua's New Home (2014)
Gargantua's New Home (2014)

Gerard Depardieu on his new throne at the Kremlin while Putin feeds him caviar.

Gerard Depardieu at the Carnival
Gerard Depardieu at the Carnival

A surprise guest at the carnival, and surprised to see a float of himself!

The Return of Gargantua Float (2014)
The Return of Gargantua Float (2014)
Michelen Man Float (2014)
Michelen Man Float (2014)
The Nose Float (2014)
The Nose Float (2014)
The Nose (2014)
The Nose (2014)
The Cafe (2014)
The Cafe (2014)
The Cafe Float (2014)
The Cafe Float (2014)
The Beautiful Bather
The Beautiful Bather

Drawing by Alexis Mossa (from "Nice Carnaval: et les carnavals du monde a Nice" by Michel Crahes and Jean Michel Emportes).

"Perseus and Pegasus" in 1914

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

The float
The float "Down with the Profiteers" in 1921

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

Janus, the 1932 King of Carnaval (antique postcard)
Janus, the 1932 King of Carnaval (antique postcard)

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

"The Float of Madness" in 1874 by Alexis Mossa

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

"Fumisterie" in 1895 by Alexis Mossa

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

"Madame Carnaval" in 1907 by G.A. Mossa

From "Nice Carnaval: et les carnavals du monde a Nice" by Michel Crahes and Jean Michel Emportes.

"The King on his Blue Bird" by G.A. Mossa in 1928

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

Antique postcard of Carnaval
Antique postcard of Carnaval

Drawing by G.A. Mossa.

Float design by G.A. Mossa
Float design by G.A. Mossa

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

"King of the Lottery" in 1937, by G.A. Mossa

From "Le Carnaval de Nice et ses fous" by Annie Sidro. Copyright 1979 by Editions SERRE. No image should be reproduced without permission from the publisher.

Float for the 1893 Carnaval designed by Alexis Mossa
Float for the 1893 Carnaval designed by Alexis Mossa

From "Nice Carnaval: et les carnavals du monde a Nice" by Michel Crahes and Jean Michel Emportes.

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