August: events in France

Find out some of the events happening in France this August

Paris Plages

19 July - 17 August

Summer is here, and if it’s a lazy afternoon on the beach that you’re after, you don’t have to head to the coast. Every year during the French capital’s Paris Plages event, the River Seine is transformed into a summer sanctuary complete with sandy beaches, ice cream sellers, deckchairs and parasols. There are numerous activities to suit all ages from volleyball through to pétanque, as well as evening concerts and performances. Paris Plages takes place from 19 July to 17 August, and entry is free.

www.paris.frJazz in Marciac

28 July - 17 August

The small Midi-Pyrénées village Marciac welcomes more than 220,000 visitors each summer for its legendary jazz festival. Beginning this year on 28 July and running until 17 August, the festival brings together jazz legends and talented up-and-coming musicians for three weeks of performances in a giant marquee in the main square. Now in its 36th year, Jazz in Marciac has become a major date in any European jazz-lover’s diary.

www.jazzinmarciac.comFestival Interceltique de Lorient

1-10 August

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Well established as the highlight of the summer for fans of Celtic culture, the Festival Interceltique de Lorient brings together thousands from the Celtic nations of Britain, Spain and France for a 10-day celebration of their culture. Concerts and traditional dance performances take place from 1 to 10 August, along with competitions, tuition in Breton musical instruments, night-time shows and a Grand Parade through the streets of Lorient. Each year the festival focuses on a different Celtic nation and 2014 sees Ireland take centre stage.

www.festival-interceltique.comFête du Lac, Annecy

2 August

As one of France’s largest bodies of water, Lake Annecy is a big draw for tourists. Those visiting over the first weekend of August are in for a treat as the lake becomes the stage for a spectacular fireworks display. Starting at 9.45pm on Saturday 2 August, the Fête du Lac sees fireworks exploding over the waters for more than an hour, accompanied by music, lights and special effects. Around 200,000 spectators are expected for this popular Alpine festival, which showcases the lake and its mountainous backdrop in all its glory. Tickets start from €6.

www.lac-annecy.comFestival of Saint-Louis, Sète

21-26 August

For a spectacle not to be missed, head to the canal in the town of Sète in Languedoc-Roussillon to see the popular water jousting competitions during the festival of Saint-Louis, from 21-26 August. Competitors dressed in traditional white costumes stand on platforms on opposing boats in the middle of the canal, armed only with a shield and jousting pole, and proceed to attempt knocking each other into the water. Thousands line the canal to cheer on the jousters and, accompanied by fireworks, music and shows, it is a sight unlike any other!

www.saintlouisasete.frRock-en-Seine, Paris

22-24 August

Thousands of music-lovers descend on the Parc de Saint-Cloud on the banks of the River Seine, just outside Paris, for the annual Rock en Seine festival, taking place this year from 22-24 August. With four stages and 60 concerts being held over the three days, the festival is welcoming some

of the biggest names in rock, including Arctic Monkeys, Blondie, Clean Bandit and Lana del Ray for 2014. The event is a family affair with a mini festival taking place for children under 11 which features gigs, workshops and animations. A day pass costs €49, children under 11 go free.

www.rockenseine.comFEI World Equestrian Games, Normandy

23 August - 7 September

With 1,000 horses and competitors from 76 nations and an expected 500,000 spectators, the FEI World Equestrian Games is the biggest equestrian event in the world – this year the games are being held in Normandy from 23 August to 7 September. Celebrated every four years, the event features eight disciplines including an endurance ride from Haras du Pin to Mont-Saint-Michel, dressage and jumping in Caen, plus a demonstration of horseball in Saint-Lô. Ticket prices start at €5 per event.

www.normandy2014.comGrand Pruneau Show, Agen

29-31 August

The town of Agen in Lot-et-Garonne is probably best known for its gastronomic speciality, the Agen prunes, and every year the town marks the beginning of the prune harvest with the Grand Pruneau Show. Celebrating its 10th edition this year, the festival includes concerts, sports, a

gourmet market and, of course, the tasting of the first prunes of the year, all taking place from 29 to 31 August.

www.grandpruneaushow.fr