This is a list of the important festivals and events that take place every year and is not exhaustive. A complete programme of events in Ariège is available from the tourist offices.
CASTILLON AREA - weekends in April
Created in 2000, this festival gives pride of place to song, proposant each year a programme that covers a wide range of repertoires (old, contemporary, world music…) interpreted by amateur and professional artists of high level, all of them passionate about singing.
PAMIERS / FOIX - 7 concerts between May and November
FESTIVAL MUSIQUES AU PAYS DE GABRIEL FAURE
Piano and chamber music concerts of works by this famous Ariège native, with the participation of eminent international artists, in the places he lived in. Info : http://pamierstourisme.com/FAURE
SAINT LIZIER - second half of May
FESTIVAL D'ART SACRE DU COUSERANS ET DE L'ARIEGE
This festival presents religious art in all its forms through diverse means of artistic expression : instrumental music, song, danse, dramatic arts, visual art, etc. through concerts, recitals, theatre, conferences, exhibitions. Info : 05 61 96 77 77
1st and 2nd week-end of June
TRANSHUMANCES EN COUSERANS
Over 4000 cows, sheep and horses take to the roads of the Couserans to climb to the high mountain pastures for the summer. Animations, games, markets, etc. in Massat, Seix and Sentein. infos : http://transhcouserans.free.fr
Last week of June
FEU DE LA SAINT JEAN
Summer solstice festivals in many villages between the 21st and the end of June. Usually features a band, dancing, outdoor evening meal, and the setting ablaze of a tall stack of branches placed around a pole.
TARASCON - last weekend of June
CYCLOSPORTIVE : L’ARIEGEOIS
E A non-competitive cycling event covering 165.30 km and 3625 m altitude change departing from Tarascon. infos : www.cyclosport-ariegeoise.com
REFUGE DES ESTAGNOUS - RESERVE DU MONT VALIER
- every Friday evening in July and August
Evenings of music, song, dance and storytelling at the walkers' refuge on the Mont Valier reserve. Like you, the performers climb up to the refuge on foot (3 hour walk). Reservation essential.
ST GIRONS - around July 14
LE CHEMIN DE LA LIBERTE
Walkers cross the Pyrenees into Spain following the route taken by downed allied pilots and refugees fleeing the Nazis during WWII. Departure from St Girons and Seix. Many of the participants are descendents of the pilots who made this trek. Info : 05 61 66 97 06
FOIX - 2nd week of July
FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE FILMS « RESISTANCES »
Programme of 100 films both documentaries and features on 4 themes : « Une éducation Joyeuse », « Etrangers à domicile », « Parole sous presse », « Voyage: entre désirs et désastres » et un zoom géographique consacré à la Grèce. infos : www.festival-resistances.fr
PAMIERS - 2nd week of July
FIESTA – FESTIVAL LATINO
Festival of latino music and dance. Info : http://ot-pamiers.fr/32-fiesta-festival-latino.html
MIREPOIX – mid-July
MEMOIRES ET TRADITIONS – JOURNEES MEDIEVALES
Medieval festival in the town centre with crafts market, animations and concerts as well as a big costume parade.
TOUR DE FRANCE STAGE
The tour comes to Ariège nearly every year.
SAINT LIZIER – 4th week of July to mid-August
FESTIVAL DE SAINT LIZIER
Chamber music festival in the historic centre of the gallo-roman town. Concerts are held in a romanesque church under remarkable frescoes from the 10th and 12th centuries.
DAUMAZAN sur ARIZE –last weekend of July
« TERRE DE COULEURS »
World music, new music and street theatre.
FOIX - first two weeks of August
SOUND AND LIGHT SHOW IN FRONT OF THE CHÂTEAU OF FOIX
Evenings in the Theatre L'Espinet with a new theme from history every year.
SAINT GIRONS – first week of August
FESTIVAL RITE – DANCE, SONG AND MUSIC FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Musicians, singers and dancers from 8 countries perform in the streets and concert halls.
SAINT GIRONS – First half of August
FESTIVAL DE THEATRE DE SAINT-GIRONS ET DU COUSERANS
A series of plays performed in St Girons and in the villages of the Couserans.
MAZERES – last weekend of July
During 2 days, medieval village and market, tavern and artisans.
REFUGE DES ESTAGNOUS - RESERVE DU MONT VALIER - every Friday evening during July and August
Evenings of music, song, dance and storytelling at the walkers' refuge on the Mont Valier reserve. Like you, the performers climb up to the refuge on foot (3 hour walk). Show and overnight in with half-board. Reservation essential.
SAINT GIRONS – first weekend of August
AUTREFOIS LE COUSERANS
Festival of local rural traditions : market, costume parade, flea market, donkey and Mérens horse competitions, folk dancing, old tracteurs and farm machinery, food market Info : www.ville-st-girons.fr
COUFLENS – PORT DE SALAU – 1st weekend of August
« PUJADA AL PORT DE SALAU »
Annual gathering of Occitan and Catalan speakers in the mountains on the French-Spanish border. Music, dancing, picnicking. 3.5 hour walk from the French side.
MIREPOIX – 2nd week of August
INTERNATIONAL PUPPET FESTIVAL
Puppets and dolls take over Mirepoix and the surrounding villages.
BOUAN – mid August
JOURNEES NATIONALES DU MERENS
Prestigious Mérens horse competition. Info : www. chevaldemerens.com
ROQUEFIXADE - last half of August and early Sept.
MUSICA DEL TEMPS PASSAT
These concerts of music from the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque periods have been extraordinarily successful ever since the first edition in September 2001. They are held in the church of Roquefixade - a place with a prestigious past in a beautiful setting.
FESTIVAL DES SAVEURS
Friday night, gala dinner. Saturday : farmers market all day with musical performances in the evening and outdoor dinner. toute la journée avec animation musical en soirée et dîner champêtre. Cooking competition, prize for best stand. Sunday : gastronomic lunch and awarding of prizes.
LE MAS D'AZIL - early October
FETE DE LA FIGUE
Fig gathering, produce and food market, cold buffet, jam-making, traditional ball, many animations.
LORP - 2nd weekend of October
ARIEGE EN BIO
Green/organic fair : conferences, stands about energy conservation, renewal energy, ecological habitat