Dec 12th, 2017, 05:23 PM

Where's the Marché de Noël?

By Joachim Fernandez
Image Credit: Shutterstoc/Kiev.Victor
Holiday cheer is nowhere near the Champs-Élysées this year thanks to the absent annual Christmas Market.

A regular fixture of the Parisian holiday, the Christmas Market on the Champs-Élysées has brought in an estimated fifteen million visitors annually, its a market one we have all come to know but not necessarily love. It has been up and running since 2008, but now in 2017, after nine years, Parisians' and tourists alike will find Champs-Élysées void of its signature stalls, shining beneath the holiday lights.


Image Credit: Shutterstock/Kiev.Victor

The market as we know it, began in 2008 under the organization of the renowned Marcel Campion, a French-born organizer, and entrepreneur, who wished to replicate the famous Alsatian counterpart in Strasbourg. This was not Campion's first foray into the organization of festivities, in fact, this is the same man who owns the renowned Ferris wheel at Concorde.

After nine years under Campion's organization, why is it that the mayor’s office of Paris has now decided to cancel the Champs-Élysées’s Christmas market? According to sources in the mayor’s office, who failed to directly comment to the Peacock Plume, it is a matter of quality. Champs-Élysées is arguably the most famous boulevard in the world, sources have claimed that the content found within Campion’s Christmas market is simply not up to par with the quality such a location deserves. Earlier this year, Jean-François Legaret, the municipal authority for Paris’s first arrondissement, in which the Champs-Élysées is located, stated that the market is one with a purely commercial purpose, not reflective of the Christmas holidays or of Paris itself.

A 13 euro carnet of churros, a 10 euro kebab, toys and clothes made in China, it becomes evident why Legaret has stated this, very little of what was found in Campion’s Christmas market can be considered reflective of French culture. When seen in comparison with the Christmas market in Strasbourg, where locally made products are in abundance, this statement becomes even clearer.

Image Credit: Wikimedia/Tangopaso. A Christmas market stall in Strasbourg.

Regardless of the reasons, this cancellation has been met with the fury of Campion and the multitude of stall owners, who now see themselves as robbed of their holiday revenue. Campion himself has threatened to shut Paris down, with protests having been already organized and perhaps more to come. Regardless of Campion’s reaction, it is evident that there will, in fact, be no Christmas market this year on the Champs-Élysées. Fear not, however, while nothing has been officially scheduled, its clear that the Mayor’s does not intend to permanently rid the Champs-Élysées of its Christmas market, but instead to return with one more reflective of French culture and more appropriate for the most well-known boulevard in the world.