Paris Plage

Paris Plage

The 8th annual edition of Paris Plage opened this week, with more than 2,000 tons of sand brought in to turn the Right Bank expressway along the Seine, between the Pont Neuf and the Pont Henri IV, into a riverside beach. This year there are also smaller Paris Plage annexes on the Left Bank quay near the Bibliothèque de France and along the Bassin de la Villette in the 19th arrondissement.

Along with sand, boardwalk and grass “beaches” equipped with free, bright blue umbrellas, deck chairs and hammocks, there are also play areas with water sprays, trampolines and other games for children, a swimming pool, a lending library, ping-pong tables and pétanque courts, art and music workshops, gym equipment, tai chi lessons, and an assortment of cafés and snack bars. At the La Villette site, rowboats, paddleboats and kayaks are available. Regular after-dark concerts are programmed, and it’s all open from 8 am to midnight.

City authorities say that the event is aimed at low-income families “in a context of socio-economic hardship”, and there’s been a concerted effort to keep the price of refreshments low, symbolized by €1 ice cream.

Some 4 million people are expected to take advantage of Paris Plage this year. Says urban beachgoer Edda Verziera, “Lots of people come here because they’re not going on holiday, which I think is great. It offers a little holiday because you do feel like you’re somewhere else.”

Paris Plage will run through August 20th.

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