Important events and well-known happenings

Important Events and well-known happenings

Champéry has a long tradition of hosting world-class events which we also consider asactivities which can be discovered during your stays at the Beau-Séjour. For your information, here is just a sampling of the main events here:

Every year in Summer

Maxi-rires Festival

This comedy festival is held every year in early Summer. Founded by two young Champérolains in 2007, this event hosts nearly 5,000 visitors from all over the world for five evenings of chuckles, guffaws and big huge belly laughs by some of the biggest personalities on the international comedy scene.

FYI: Visit our website under ‘Extras’, and you’ll see who might be having breakfast with you during this period …

Pass’Portes du Soleil MTB

The Pass’Portes is the not-to-be-missed mountain biking event of the Summer! Every year it’s a huge success and one of the best ways to explore the Portes du Soleil’s breathtaking scenery.
The riders make a circuit, which covers 80k in the French-Swiss Portes du Soleil, at an altitude varying between 1000 and 2450m. 15 ski lifts (out of the 24 that are open all Summer) make it possible to visit all 9 of the participating villages in one day. Participants can choose to ride on Friday, Saturday or Sunday. At the same time, one of the villages hosts a Pass’Portes bike fair.

Rencontres Musicales

The Rencontres Musicales de Champéry is a music festival that combines sublime classical music with the friendly, relaxed ambiance of Champéry. The festival has been going strong for 12 years, but has stayed true to its origins, retaining the same authenticity and freshness that is so much a part of life here in Champéry.The intimate and often unexpec ted venues, like the quaint protestant church or the Barmaz alpine pasture, help keep this festival small, intimate and one-of-a-kind.

1st August – Our National Holiday

Champery organises every year its National Holiday, which is THE Summer event!

The day starts at 6:30 am, when the local brass band strikes up a tune, inviting residents and guests alike to gather in the gaily decorated village main street for a day full of festivities. Visiting brass bands and folk groups, bouncy castles, magicians, stands selling local produce, pony rides, paragliding flights, barbecue; the town buzzes with activity the whole day long.

As the sun goes down, the village street begins to hum in anticipation as spectators line both sides of the Grande Rue to watch the torchlit town parade, which showcases floats from the ski club and the lumberjacks to children in old-time costumes and Miss Champéry, the town’s loveliest cow! After the parade, some of Champéry’s most intrepid mountaineers light beacon fires on the peaks of the Dents du Midi and surrounding mountains; these fires are just a prelude to the magnificent fireworks display which follows! The party extends into the wee hours as young and old alike dance the night away at an open-air ‘ball’.

Champéry Wine Tasting Event

At the Fête du Vin, amateurs and veteran wine collectors alike can sample some of the region’s best wines. Keeping in mind that Champéry is a family-friendly town, there is bouncy castle to keep the kids busy while parents spend a tasty and informative afternoon sampling the wines and meeting with the winemakers at 15 different stands.

Trail des Dents-du-Midi

The Trail des Dents-du-Midi is a competitive Ultra-Trail type race. It was inspired by and is run in the footsteps of the Marathon des Dents du Midi, which was inaugurated in 1962 and held for over 40 years, making it a pioneer of alpine races.

The magnificent landscapes of the Dents du Midi accompany you throughout the race. Lakes, waterfalls and fast-flowing streams vie for your attention with shady forests, craggy screes and high mountain pastures.

Other events in Champéry during Summer:

Every year in Winter

Derby de Chavannette

The Derby de Chavanette is a Derby with a capital ‘D’!
It all started with a legendary ski slope. Chavanette, or The Mur Suisse or “Swiss Wall“ in Champery – Les Crosets / Portes-du-Soleil, which is infamous for being one of the steepest, most dangerous ski slopes in the world.
For the Derby, skill and a certain fearlessness are a must, but sportsmanship and fair-play are primordial as participants compete in three-man teams. The racers start at the top of Chavanette, plunging down the 40 to 55° slope together. All three teammates must cross the finish line to qualify; the third skier to cross the line determines the team’s time.
The Derby is however open to all and to all kind of sliding objects!

Rock the Pistes Festival

The best of French and international pop and rock stars bring down the house right here in the Portes du Soleil at a unique festival where the only ticket you need is your ski pass. We’re not kidding; for five days at the height of the ski season, the 12 Portes du Soleil resorts host surprise concerts right on the ski slopes. When the ski area closes, the music keeps coming with more concerts held in the villages.
The Festival Rock the Pistes is the explosion of pure sensations!

Welsh Ski Championships

More than 100 of the top ski racers from across the UK participate yearly in the Swiss-sponsored Celtic Cup ski race. Celtic Cup racers spend the Summer months practicing on artificial ski slopes and two days racing at the ski slope at Pontypool, Wales.

Colargol Cup

The Colargol Cup is an all-comers Telemark ski race, with a festive ambiance and general bonhomie that makes the day as much fun for the spectators as for the participants. The Colargol is a day-long party on the slopes, one that ends with bouncy castles and fire-jugglers and lots of other surprises!

More events happening during Winter:

  • Ice-Skating Holiday show – Palladium
  • Go-Karting on ice – Palladium
  • World Snowboard Day
  • Interclub kids athletic competition – Ski Club

Past Events

MTB World Championship

In September 2011, the Mountain Biking World Championships and Trials were heldright here in Champery. For five thrilling days, the world’s best men and women downhill, four-cross, trials and cross country bikers gave their utmost and put on a world-class show. The opening ceremony took place in the Palladium Sports Centre after the participating nations paraded through the village street.

European Curling Championships

In December 2010, Champery also hosted the European Curling Championships at the Palladium. It was a huge success and participants were delighted with this village atmosphere and the warm welcome they received. The Palladium was entirely given over to the Organizing Committee for 12 days in order to provide the incredible infrastructure that a competition of this level requires. 30 nations sent 46 men’s and women’s teams. The Palladium of Champéry showed its capacities and recently became the new National Ice Sports Centre, 3rd in Switzerland.

EYOF – European Youth Olympic Festival

In 2005, Champéry proudly hosted the European Youth Olympic Festival, where youths aged 14 to 18, selected by the 48 European National Olympic Committees, compete every bit as fiercely as their older counterparts in the Olympic Games.

The EYOF is a multi-disciplinary event, held under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and including two editions in Winter and Summer, which are organized the same year and have been held every two years since 1991:

  • Winter: ice sports and skiing,
  • Summer: athletics, cycling, gymnastics, judo, swimming, table tennis, basketball, football, handball, and volleyball.