by Eleonora Pedron MONTECARLO. As it happens annually in December, the Principality will sparkle with the celebration entitled “La fête de la lumière – The celebration of light”. Since November 25th, the big pine tree in the Place d’Armes has been coated with hundreds of light bulbs. For the second consecutive year, some expert carers of the “Maintien à Domicile Organisation –The Home Care Organisation» – have carried out their cared people for a free city tour on a Monaco Bus, to discover the Christmas decorations aboard. Like last year, the fairy lights of the Place des Moulins are matching the Christmas Village’s theme, entitled “Les douceurs de Noël-The Christmas Sweeties”. For the first time, this year the “Canton” roundabout will be well-lit by a garland above the entrance to the tunnel. The Christmas lights are totally made with LED (light-emitting diodes from the Blachère illumination Company) to reduce the electric consumption and to bring additional brightness to the decorations. The Village “Les Douceurs de Noël” – The Christmas Sweeties”, is made of small wooden chalets and will be opened at Port Hercule from December 2 2016 until January 2, 2017. After enjoying the view of the giant tree entirely realized in “bonbons”, of the big wheel and of the carousel located at each entrance of the Village, visitors will wander freely in the gourmet décor of the food stands of the Christmas Market. It will be animated every Friday and Saturday by Musical Evenings from 7pm to 10 pm (except December 24th and 31st) and by several children’s entertainment, from 3pm to 7pm, with parades of giant cuddly toys, musical groups, clowns, penguins, bears, and elves … And everyone will be able to acclaim the Christmas Parade on 14th December, the Red and White Parade on 14th and 18th December, the Red Light Parades on 17th December, the Blue Parade and its Bears on 30th December and the Polar Bears Parade on January 1st 2017.
A Treasure Hunt will take place at the Christmas Village on Thursday, December 8th, from 3pm to 7pm. Several creative workshops will be held from 3rd to 14th December every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Crafts will be one of the highlights of this Market, as well as regional products and gastronomic delicacies, which will offer ideas for the Christmas presents and for the Christmas meal. Monaco mild weather in winter does not preclude the opening of an ice rink to fans, tourists and Monaco citizens’ delight. Moreover, the modelling’s fans, whatever their level, will be able to launch their radio-guided vehicles on the rink’s ice tracks Sunday 4th and Thursday 8th December (from 8 am to 12 pm). In partnership with the “Fédération Monégasque de Modélisme” and the MC Clic Company, free access to the track will be reserved to all models of radio-controlled cars, scale 1 / 12th to 1 / 5th, electrically powered exclusively.
A series of events will make these Christmas celebrations unforgettable, starting from the birthday of princess Gabriella and of the hereditary prince Jacques, the twins of Prince Albert II of Monaco and his wife Princess Charlene of Monaco. Born on December 10th, 2014, the little princes will celebrate their second anniversary. “They are always smiling and laughing,” HSH Prince Albert II said in an interview. “Jacques, for the moment, is a little boy of very few words. If he wants you to pick him up, he’ll say, ‘Up!’ and then he’ll say, ‘Down,’ but he’s not into using full sentences. “Gabriella, like a lot of little girls, and is more talkative than her brother — both in English and French. She encountered the phrase ‘c’est pas possible!’ (‘it’s not possible’) and has picked that up pretty quickly.” “That one,” he laughs. ‘I’m certain it’s going to serve her really well later on in life. “She has certain other phrases like, ‘I’ll miss you’ and ‘I love you, Daddy,’ which make it really hard to leave the house in the morning.” These phrases “have only intensified the constant battle I’m having with my staff,” he says. “They keep insisting I accept this invitation or go to this event or travel here… I’m resisting and accepting only the essential ones.” Invitations are a current household topic, he says, as he and Princess Charlene have already begun planning for the children’s second birthday. Last year, the day was marked by Prince Jacques taking his first steps in public — and this year promises to be equally memorable.
“We’ve decided to have a little something here at home with some of the children in their day-care,” he says. “They go two, three times a week and they’ve made friends and so we’ve decided on an early afternoon party in the palace.” The proud father says his twins are increasingly comfortable, enjoying friends and public outings. Besides day care, “they’ve been going out regularly to a public playground,” he says. “They’re encouraged to have contact with children they encounter and the other people they meet. We both want them to be as comfortable as they can be and to experience as normal an upbringing as possible.” The upcoming holiday season (and a prospective visit in 2017 to Philadelphia, where Prince Albert just purchased his late mother Princess Grace’s childhood home) is turning into a busy one for the young royals. “There’s a number of potential outings,” their father says, mentioning their birthday celebration. Family plans also call for the pair to participate at both of the palace’s legendary Christmas events — one for the principality’s children followed by an equally festive affair for palace employees and their families. Confirming the upcoming round of holiday plans, the prince shares, “There’s their birthday party and then they’ll be coming to both Christmas parties. And after that I think we’ll take a little needed private New Year’s vacation away. Last but not least, among several other coming events, save these dates: December 6th and 9th at 8:30 pm in the Chapel of the Visitation, Christmas Concert (Baroque Music) organized by the Cultural Affairs Department of Monaco. For the 12th year in a row and during Christmas’ magical time, our Association has the great pleasure to invite you to its evening “Action Innocence Monaco’s Christmas Trees”, trees specially created and decorated for this occasion, on Wednesday December the 14th at 6.30pm in the exceptional setting of the Hôtel de Paris. On this occasion, ten Primary School children, of the International School of Monaco (ISM) will be invited to sing a medley of festive songs at the annual auction of Christmas trees, in the presence of His Serene Highness Prince Albert II.
This event raises thousands of euros for “Action Innocence Monaco” a charity devoted to protecting young people from the dangers of the Internet and which conducts regular workshops in our school.
Friday December 16th, from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm, the “Les Enfants de Frankie Association” will open the doors of the Salle des Étoiles at the Sporting Monte-Carlo for a children’s gala evening with entertainment, workshops, dinner, shows and DJs. Saturday, December 17th, at 8:30 pm at the Church of Sainte-Dévote, the 2nd International Organ Festival organized by the Association In Tempore Organi with “Il Coro Platonico Città di Ventimiglia” under the direction of Romano Pini, will be accompanied by Adriano Costa at the piano and by Silvano Rodi at the organ.