The Program for Saint Nicholas’ festivities

All you need to know about the Saint Nicholas parade in Épinal

You will find the program of the festivities that are going to take place on Saturday 8th December 2018 bellow. Throughout the afternoon, you can take part in events that are organized on the side-lines of the parade to entertain the young and old.

  • 2.30 p.m. - a concert is given at the Conservatoire in Épinal on the theme of Saint Nicholas.
  • 4.30 p.m. - many musical events take place on the various squares throughout Épinal - all accessible on foot.
  • 5.30 p.m. -  the play on the legend of Saint Nicholas on the square - Place des Vieux Moulins
  • 6 p.m. - the parade starts and winds through the streets of the town centre. The fireworks are setup on the bridge - Pont Sadi Carnot.

The Saint Nicolas parade and its floats

The Saint Nicholas procession in Épinal is made up of more than 60 floats and brass bands which wind through a 3-kilometre parade route. As the brass bands are playing, the floats invade the town for the big popular parade which is illuminated and adorned with a thousand colours. Saint Nicholas closes the procession, applauded by the crowd and marvelled at by the children, just before Father Fouettard appears to ring his bell as he is booed by the spectators.

Music at the Saint Nicholas parade

There is always music at the show, and a new troupe of musicians joins the procession every year. They follow Saint Nicholas throughout the parade until he leaves. In 2017, 11 bands took part in the parade. Between each float, the dance clubs in Épinal and the surrounding areas also participated and created a fantastic atmosphere with choreographies designed esepcially for the big day. In the towns and villages around Épinal, Saint Nicholas also had a parade, sometimes accompanied by a brass band and some floats, without forgetting the dreadful Father Fouettard.

The route for the Saint Nicholas Parade in Épinal

The next Saint Nicholas parade, which is taking place in Épinal, leaves from the square Place des Vieux Moulins at the end of the play dedicated to the patron saint. The parade then continues in rue du Général Leclerc, then crosses the bridge overlooking rue Rualménil and continues its path towards rue Aubert, the Quai du Musée and the Quai des Bons Enfants. It moves to rue des Etat-Unis, then to rue du General de Gaulle, and reaches the Avenue du Marechal de Lattre, before taking the rue de la Chipotte, Leopold Bourg and rue Rualmenil again, before stopping at the bridge - Pont Sadi Carnot, where the traditional fireworks are fired.