A corso, from the Italian word corso ("course, parade") is a procession of floral floats taking place outdoors and generally marking the arrival of spring. In Dignes les Bains, the Corso of Lavender was first held in 1929. The first event aimed to promote lavender production, the economic base of the Provence region. Interrupted by World War II, the Corso of Lavender returned in 1945 as a regular event. Today it is a great festival that takes place over five days between the end of July and the beginning of August.
Access is free and open to all. Each year the event attracts tens of thousands of visitors attending the day and night parades, the two firework displays, the funfair and the international parade. On the first night, there is a grand opening with music, followed by fireworks and a grand ball on Place Général de Gaulle. Saturday is dedicated to a grand parade of folk groups from all over the world (Sweden, France, Russia).
Throughout the weekend there are public serenades: bands wander through the streets in the town centre offering musical demonstrations to visitors. Thousands of lavender "purses", small cotton bags filled with dried flowers, are distributed to spectators. Throughout the corso, the funfair welcomes children and adults on Place du Tampinet.