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The Pyrotechnic Ice-Cream Parades of the Nobel Prize Banquet

On December 10, this year's Nobel Prize winners will gather with royalty and dignitaries at City Hall in Stockholm for the Nobel banquet. Some think the highlight of the evening is the awarding of the prizes, but those who know say it's really the dessert parade, a grand entrance featuring a light show of sparklers as an army of servers bring in the dessert.

Nobel banquets have been held since 1901, and each year, the menu is exquisite. That’s to be expected: Some of the world’s most lauded people, not to mention Swedish royalty and dignitaries, are in attendance. In the first few years, the food was mostly French-style, the cuisine of the elite. Only later in the century did Swedish dishes and ingredients take center stage, with filet of sole being replaced by filet of reindeer. But until recently, there was one constant: For dessert, dozens of waiters descended the grand staircase with trays of Nobel ice cream and sparklers, a fitting accompaniment to the Nobel Prize’s explosive origins.

Things change, and even the ice cream is optional these days. However the dessert parade will continue, upstaging the scientists and peacemakers once again. Read about the Nobel banquet and its ice cream parades at Atlas Obscura.


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Here's an example of what the full broadcast looks like - 3 hours long. And mostly in Swedish. Not only is there the pomp and ceremony, but there's also background on the winners and why received their prizes, and small interviews with them. at 19:47 in that video there's an interview with Peter Higgs and his work in physics. At 29:30 is an interview with Alice Monroe and her work in literature. 1:11:36 is the winners in economics, and so on.
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The dinner is shown on TV here (in Sweden). From the intro, with the awardees and families arriving on the red carpet - along with clips of what they've been doing during their Sweden visit - to the dinner entertainment show, all the way to when the attendees start dancing after dinner.
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