The Loire Festival | Orléans Val de Loire Tourisme

The Loire Festival



All aboard for the largest river boat festival in Europe, hosted on the Loire in Orleans from 18 to 22 September 2019!

One of the biggest events in Orleans, the Loire Festival is five days of festivities to celebrate the grand old history of river transport and the magnificent heritage of France’s longest river.

Held every other September in the former Port of Orleans, the Loire Festival is attended by hundreds of thousands of visitors eager to see over 200 boats, 700 sailors and 500 artists take part in this fun, fascinating event where unforgettable memories are made!

Don’t miss the 9th Loire Festival and the opportunity to discover the enchanting world of river transport and the traditional boats moored along the Loire quayside. England and the Thames as ‘river of honour’ are guests at this year’s festival.

Balade fluviale Festival de Loire Orléans
Bateau traditionnel Festival de Loire Orléans

Traditional sablières, an assortment of flat-bottomed barges (toues and fûtreaux) and fishing vessels are the main attractions. They are in the spotlight during events on the river, special performances and public celebrations.

Sailors and cabin boys take centre stage for the week to showcase the craft of skippering and the customs of the royal river. River cruises, regattas and nautical activities complete the programme of things to see and do on the water.

The celebration is also the perfect opportunity to discover the time-honoured heritage of the Loire Valley and Loiret! Traditional arts and crafts at the Loire Fair, local specialities at the Loire Village and riverside bars on the Loire offer even more reasons to make your way down to the city’s quays!

Festival de Loire 2019 Orléans

Did you know?

The duck race is going to be repeated at the upcoming Loire Festival. The fun starts at 11 am on Sunday 22 September.

This year, as many as 35,000 ducks will be competing at this incredible racing event on the Loire!


With a string of fun and educational things to do designed for a young audience, the Loire Festival is an event for the whole family on the riverside. A stroll around the city’s old town, from Sainte-Croix Cathedral to the Loire quayside, is a delightful way to explore another side of Orleans

Visiting with friends? Enjoy a drink on the waterside and tuck into Loire specialities served at traditional pop up bars (open-air riverside bars) during the festival!

Evening is the perfect time to go for a walk along the Loire quayside, ooh and ah at the street performers or fireworks, and admire the illuminations on the bridges and islands in the river, so many things that make the Loire Festival a major highlight for the city.

Bateau traditionnel Festival de Loire Orléans

Highlights of the LOIRE Festival 2019

Wednesday, September 18th
Inaugural day, boat ride on the Loire
Inauguration at 5 pm on the Ponton stage

Thursday, September 19th
Music evening

Friday, September 20th
Creation of the Loire Festival at 22h

Saturday, September 21st
Pyro-musical performance at 22:30

Sunday, September 22
Great parade of boats
Duck race at 11am at the Quai des Augustins

This September, come to Orleans and experience the special atmosphere of the Loire Festival for yourself!

EXPLORE the program