This weekend, Geneva celebrates 200 years as part of the Swiss confederation. The festivities, which are a mix of official ceremonies, historical and contemporary plays, parades, shows and concerts will last from Friday to Sunday. During the course of the weekend, people will be able to discover what it was like to live in Geneva in 1814 through live reconstructions and a naval parade on 1 June. With only three days and so much listed on the programme here’s a quick rundown of things you surely wouldn’t want to miss.
Friday 30 May at 21h30 sees the premiere of “1814 ou la cuisine de l’histoire” a theatrical production bringing together comedians, dancers, singers and musicians. Right on the lake at Port Noir, this open-air production allows the public to learn about 1814 through the eyes of a child of today. Tickets are CHF 35 for adults and CHF 25 for students (and it’s on till 11 June).
On Saturday 31 May from 14h30 to 16h30 a historical parade will liven up the city centre. Starting from the Parc des Bastions and ending at Port Noir, the procession with more than 1,200 participants will thrill the heart of Geneva to the beat of communal bands and traditional and alternative music, including costumed groups and vehicles from a number of eras.
On Sunday 1 June the celebrations include a naval regatta, starting at 9h00, in which Lake Geneva’s six lateen sailboats will race off the Quai Gustave-Ador. These ancient trading boats were a regular sight on the lake in the early 20th century, transporting mostly construction materials; La Neptune, for example, could carry up to 100 tonnes of stones. At 15h00, these beautiful and historic boats will take part in a naval parade at Port Noir to commemorate the actual landing of Confederate troops 200 years ago.
It’s bound to be a fun weekend the whole family can enjoy. For the full programme, including events that continue until 19 May 2015, visit www.ge200.ch .