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Grand Palais Turns Itself Into a Fairytale with Fairground Attractions
Visitors sit on a carrousel, set up for year end celebration, inside the Grand Palais museum, in Paris, Saturday, Dec. 19, 2009. AP Photo/Christophe Ena.

PARIS.- An exceptional event for the festive season, "Jours de fêtes" invites a wide public to the Nave of the Grand Palais, specially lit up by François Austerlitz, to plunge into a fairytale atmosphere amongst the fairground attractions: the big wheel, the 1900 carrousel and "the world of children" space made up of 6 games which can be played free of charge. Young and old will take a voyage of discovery of unique pieces from individual collections presented by The Musée des Art Forains (Museum of Fairground Arts) to learn about every aspect of the heritage of fairground arts. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Django Reinhardt, the greatest names of "manouche" and gypsy jazz will be taking part in the festivities.

On the programme for this event:

• Fairground attractions

• The treasures of the Museum of Fairground Arts » exhibition

• The Gypsy Camp » musical programme

The Fair at the Grand Palais

Fairground attractions will be at the heart of "Jours de fêtes":
Wooden horses, a helter skelter and a big wheel 14 and 33 metres high respectively, acrobats, the "deadly leap" … and buffet stands with crêpes, waffles, toffee apples, candyfloss and more.

Treasures from the Museum Fairground Arts on Show at the Grand Palais
For "Jours de fêtes", The Museum of Fairground Arts has taken from its reserves, the pieces most representative of this decorative art created for the public at large. At the time of the Industrial Revolution, artisans, under the leadership of inventive fairground people, created the first merry-go-rounds thanks to the arrival of new technology.

These attractions very quickly became true travelling monuments, peaking with elaborately furnished carrousels with upholstered seats. Sculptures, panelling and gilt travelled the roads over the course of fairs.

To be presented, among others:

• The Gondola by Gustave Bayol, the sculptor’s masterpiece, considered today to be the peak of his work

• The Indian elephant, which comes from the colonial exhibition in 1931 and illustrates the relationship between the fairground world and that of the big universal exhibitions.

• The reconstruction of a mechanical fairground theatre set, a forgotten attraction and a precursor to cinema.

"The Gypsy Camp": The Biggest Names of Manouche and Gypsy Jazz

Every day, manouche and gypsy music will intoxicate the Grand Palais and add to the festive, cultural and historic atmosphere, of "Jours de fêtes" in the magical world of the fair.

On the stage, under the paddock of the Nave of the Grand Palais, the following will be taking place:

• from 2 pm to 8 pm

Jazz Manouche Ninine Garcia Quartet and the gypsy groups Los Amigos & Kema (grandson of Manitas de Plata) and their musicians

- from 8.30 pm to 10.30 pm

(Except Thursday 31 December)


And many others:


Saturday 26 December MORENO ET SES MUSICIENS




Grand Palais | "Jours de fêtes" | François Austerlitz |

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