The carnival isn't just a one day Mardi Gras event but lasts for 2 weeks and has a variety of events - day time and night-time processions , battle of the flowers and a grande finale when the Carnival King float is burned and a huge fireworks display lights up the Baie des Anges.
When our kids were small we used to mainly go to the carnival during the day time but the night time carnival is an impressive show with lit-up floats and luminous paints and make-up on the performers.
We visited the night carnival twice this year. The carnival processions are not exactly the same each time on each visit -the huge floats are the same but there are different groups of dancers, stilt walkers, musicians, folk lore groups and costumed performers etc so there is always plenty of new stuff to see.
This was one of the biggest floats -it was an immense articulated dragon creature- reminiscent of a dinosaur skeleton from the Natural History museum .
The head and tail and wings moved , the mouth opened and closed
Acrobatic people swung around on bungee straps from the wings and a magician figure dressed in black rode on the dragons head.
Photos don't do justice to this spectacular dragon
Dragon head breathing smoke.
The colourful ribs of the skeletal dragon. The ribs seemed to light up with different colours at different times.
This was a strange metal dragon vehicle piloted by 'humanoid creatures' like a cross between Mad Max renegades and Orcs. I didn't get any good photos of the 'humanoid creatures' ,unfortunately.
Dragon vehicle breathing fiery sparks. The huge dragon appearing out of the smoke and fire was a breathtaking sight.
This is a float designed by a British cartoonist called Jeremy Banx [cartoonist for the Financial Times].
The float called Neoconzilla and an interview with the cartoonist talking about his inspiration for the float is here
The Statue of Liberty is being swallowed up by the Neoconzilla monster and only the torch is visible.