Written by Missy Johnston

yacht charter, luxury yachts, france

July 14th: The lights along the horizon are of the dozens of anchored yachts

Like a child, I, along with thousands of others, oohed and aahed as the darkened skies over the Bay of Cannes lit up with dabs and splashes of color that seemingly danced with choreographed precision to accompanied music piped along the Croissette. Cannes begins the annual Festival d’Art Pyrotechnique competition each July 14th Bastille Day. Participating countries vie for the top prize, and this year five countries will showcase their creativity throughout the summer.

yacht charter, luxury yachts, france
The start of the July 14th display

This is no ordinary fireworks display. It’s pure artistry with a carefully choreographed show of lights that are rhythmically coordinated to explode with the tempo of various musical pieces. An eight-person jury judges the “show” via theme originality, musical quality, colors, synchronization, and shooting rhythm. Thousands of visitors line the Croisette for each display, so it’s best to arrive early for a front-row view to best see the layered heights of lights as they are ignited from several pontoons along the bay. Of course, the best vantage point is from a yacht, dozens of which vie for the best anchorage behind the 300-meter viewing area of sea-based “shooting” pontoons. While the 30-minute fireworks display usually commences at 10 p.m., all displays are followed by concerts. At the end, the prized country/group is announced, and for the ceremony, yet another fireworks display concludes the season.

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