Evening Update Thursday 20th October 2022

As winter approaches, towns and cities across the Riviera are busy figuring out how to get the right balance this Christmas between cheering people up with festive lights, and saving energy. In Antibes, work has already begun this week to install the illuminations for the end-of-year celebrations. The city council there has decided to substantially scale back this year's lights, focusing on two areas: the old town and the coast. In previous years, the festive illuminations in Antibes were kept on all night. This year, they'll only run from 6pm to 10pm. In Nice and Menton, the decorations and Christmas lights will be turned off at night, from 11pm. Villeneuve-Loubet's illuminations will also run on timers - and its spending on lights, including electricity consumption, is expected to be down by 60% this year. Saint-Raphaël in the Var is also reducing its end-of-year displays, also with an estimated saving of 60%. Many towns have made the switch to more energy-efficient LEDs to keep costs down.

Meanwhile, as Monaco’s autumn funfair gets under way tomorrow, the city of Cannes' seaside merry-go-round, duck pond and other fairground attractions have been dismantled and aren't due to return until summer 2025. The games and rides opposite the Palais des Festivals have long been popular with local children and visitors alike. They've had to make way for ongoing redevelopment works on the Croisette. In the wait until 2025, the city says it will set up a carousel on the Allées de la Liberté, just back from the port. There are also children's play areas at the other end of the Croisette.

In other local news, the parents of a schoolgirl in Menton have complained to police, claiming their daughter was humiliated in front of other pupils by the secondary school's director during assembly. During a presentation to pupils at the start of term, the director of the Villa Blanche private Catholic school reportedly called out a fifth-grade student yawning in the audience. It's claimed he ordered her to leave the assembly hall on all-fours. She briefly crawled away before getting up and running out of the room in tears. Several other pupils were also told to leave the assembly hall for yawning - but not on all-fours. The headteacher has reportedly apologised to the girl and her parents. He is currently on sick leave.

Two plots of land occupied by Roma travellers in Saint-Laurent-du-Var have been demolished. A few dozen people who had illegally lived on the sites for several years were evacuated earlier this week ahead of yesterday's demolition. Police described the makeshift camps as slum-like, with trashed cars, piles of scrap metal and other debris piling up. The occupants have been given short-term accommodation, but a local association representing them