The crowd returns to the Champs-Élysées for the New Year

DThe Champs-Élysées full of people: an image we had not seen for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. For this New Year’s holiday, the most beautiful street in the world has regained its splendor and allowed 500,000 people to enjoy its annual spectacle. Parisians and tourists have gradually filled the 2 kilometers of illuminated trees, with “a normal level of tourists, equal to that of 2018 and 2019”, according to the deputy for Tourism and Nightlife in the Paris municipality, Frédéric Hocquard.

Among the nine Americans from Los Angeles, Mariel Choo A, wearing a black beret, films herself with her friends, spinning: “Paris is my favorite city,” she says. “It’s my first time coming (for New Year’s Eve) and I’m here to have fun! »

Among those sharing their “first New Year’s Eve on the Champs”, Marie Point came from Angers, almost 300 kilometers away, with her husband and their two children: “We had never come to Paris for 31 -at. We decided about ten days ago that we wanted to please the children, change habits, have dinner with friends at home. »

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On the road closed to traffic, the crowd passes through filter points: people and bags are checked, water bottles are emptied, champagne bottles are seized, the sale of alcohol and its consumption on the public highway is prohibited until Monday morning within a perimeter.

From the Place de la Concorde to the Arc de Triomphe, the street is packed. Many revelers flock to the neighboring arteries, where you come across many families, sometimes with strollers, and some people in evening dress, sometimes with a bottle of “champion” in hand, passing the street vendors of “sausage sandwiches”.

A group of ten young men – all studying the humanities in Paris – settled on the avenue de Friedland, on the ground. In a circle, they enjoy chips and fruit juice and play cards – the game White Eat Coco – waiting for the countdown to the twelve strikes of midnight. “It’s the first time we meet at Champs for New Year’s Eve,” says Ilyès Hachelef, 19. “We are here for the fireworks, we saw it on TV two years ago, we thought it was not bad. And we put together a team! We are here for the atmosphere, to have a good time, to be together. And it’s beautiful! »READ ALSO Everything can still work in 2023

It looks like a giant Saturday night ball

With the theme of celebration and love, Paris offers a pyrotechnic show lasting several minutes with eight stages and 3,386 fireworks enhanced by the songs of Clara Luciani, Harry Styles, Juliette Armanet and Pink. It should be launched a few seconds before midnight and after two hours of visual and musical entertainment around the Arc de Triomphe where the word “Paris” is regularly projected.

Avenue should take on the appearance of a giant Saturday evening ball, with a spotlight on French artists, such as Daft Punk, France Gall, Rita Mitsouko, Green Negresses, Johnny Hallyday or Orelsan.

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At the end of December 2021, faced with the progress of the Omicron variant, the City of Paris, which finances the event, had to cancel the fireworks and concerts planned on the famous avenue. A year ago, it had chosen virtual reality, to promote distancing, with a concert by French musician Jean-Michel Jarre in a digital cathedral of Notre-Dame.

About 5,400 policemen and gendarmes have been specially mobilized in the capital. For several years, we have established a protective perimeter so that the party can take place in the best possible conditions and if there is an overflow, we will end it very quickly”, explains the prefect of the police, Laurent Nuñez. , who came early in the evening to review the police, gendarmes, civil defense agents, firefighters and Red Cross rescuers.

For New Year’s Eve, around 90,000 police and gendarmes have been deployed across France. In 2021, there were 95,000, including 9,000 in Paris.

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