The Program for Saint Nicholas’ festivities

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

Below is the program of the festivities that is going to take place on Saturday 8th December 2018. Throughout the afternoon, you can participate in entertainment, 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 Nicolas.
  • 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 Nicolas in the square - Place des Vieux Moulins
  • 6 p.m. - the parade begins 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 Nicolas procession in Épinal is made up of more than 60 floats and brass bands and winds through a 3-kilometre parade route. With the brass bands playing the floats invade the town for the big popular parade which is illuminated and adorned with a thousand colours. Saint Nicolas closes the procession, applauded by the crowd and marvelled at by the children, just before Father Fouettard appears who rings his bell and is booed by the spectators.

The music at the Saint Nicolas parade

There is always music in the show and every year a new troupe of musicians joins the procession. They follow Saint Nicolas throughout the parade, until his departure. In 2017, 11 bands participated in the parade. The dance clubs in Épinal and the surrounding areas also participated and created a fantastic atmosphere between each float, with choreographies specially designed for the big day. In the towns and villages around Épinal, Saint Nicolas 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 Nicolas parade which is taking place in Épinal leaves from the square - Place des Vieux Moulins at the end of the play dedicated to him. The parade then continues onto rue du Général Leclerc, then crosses the bridge overlooking rue Rualménil and continues its path to rue Aubert, the Quai du Musée and the Quai des Bons Enfants. It moves along la rue Etat-Unis, then that of 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.