March 2015: events in France
PUBLISHED: 12:59 23 February 2015 | UPDATED: 10:28 11 January 2016
Discover some of the major events happening in France in March 2015, including a half-marathon in Paris, carnivals in Bordeaux and Strasbourg, concerts in the Alps and reduced cinema tickets across France
Carnaval des Deux Rives, Bordeaux
Bordeaux comes alive on 1 March, with the River Garonne the focus of the Carnaval des Deux Rives event. The theme changes from year to year, with ‘monsters’ on the agenda for 2015. Expect extravagant costumes on display in a parade along the river bank, concerts and shows, workshops and activities for children, as well as plenty of apéritifs for the adults. While you’re in Bordeaux, take the time to explore this newly regenerated city and discover its 18th-century Haussmann-style buildings, and indulge in some wines from the world-renowned surrounding vineyards.
Paris half-marathon, Paris
If you’re in Paris this month, don’t miss the annual half-marathon on 8 March. Starting and finishing in the Bois de Vincennes, the 40,000 runners taking part in the course wind their way through the streets of the 12th arrondissement, before arriving at the city centre. Landmarks en route include Notre Dame and the Bastille, while runners also loop around the Hôtel de Ville. Thousands of spectators line the route to cheer on participants and enjoy the atmosphere. Why not use the half-marathon as an excuse to explore Paris on foot? There’s always a café just around the corner if you need a warming cup of coffee and a restoring pâtisserie!
Rock the Pistes, Portes du Soleil
Offering a chance to ski and listen to concerts, Rock the Pistes is now in its fifth year and it has proved popular with visitors. From 14-21 March stages on the slopes of the Portes du Soleil ski area welcome big name acts performing one-off concerts at 1.30pm every day. The evenings see concerts take place in one of the five resorts hosting the event, including Avoriaz, châtel and Morzine. All you need is a concert pass which also doubles up as a ski pass (from €48.50 for a day pass), and you can take part in the fun.
Strasbourg Carnival, Strasbourg
Strasbourg, capital of the Alsace region, is ideal for a city break, full of chocolate-box houses and restaurant terraces. The city is home to the European Parliament and has a full calendar of events including the annual Carnaval de Strasbourg, which takes place this year on 15 March. The city exudes a festival atmosphere as more than 40 colourful floats and 3,000 street performers join a parade through the city centre. Starting at the Quai du Général Koenig, the procession finishes in the Place Kléber where there are live music acts on the outdoor stage. The party lasts long into the night at the surrounding bars.
Printemps du Cinéma, across France
Now in its 15th year, France’s annual Printemps du Cinéma nationwide festival is a firm fixture in the film calendar. For three days from 22-24 March, cinema-goers pay only €3.50 for admission. Organised by the Fédération Nationale des Cinémas Français, the special tariff applies to all films in cities across France, giving you the perfect excuse for a trip to the movies.
D-Day Race, Juno Beach, Normandy
As one of the five beaches that was the site of the D-Day landings 71 years ago, Juno Beach in Normandy now welcomes eager participants queuing up to tackle some obstacles of their own in the D-Day race on 27-29 March. Set up as a challenging sporting event as well as a way to remember and honour those who took part in the landings, the D-Day race sees more than 7,000 challengers landing on Juno Beach by boat and tackling a 15km course strewn with more than 40 obstacles. Successful runners can then celebrate in the evening with an awards ceremony, dinner and great ball and stay in the nearby campsite. Entry starts from €85.