Today is the final day of Daglan’s four-day annual festival — phew! As I write this, I can hear (and feel) the steady thump-thump-thump of the music blaring from the bumper-car ride that’s operating in the village square, just up the street.
I’m assuming that the rides, the games and the stalls selling snacks (and beer) will keep running through the evening and well into the night, or even into the early morning. Meanwhile, my wife is outside watching the end of the bike race (Le Tour de Daglan). We intend to miss tonight’s Bal Musette, featuring Mick Fontaine, which begins at 9 p.m.
But yesterday, as previously noted, we did witness the annual parade through the village, the Grand Défilé de Chars, or Big Parade of Floats. In the spirit of sharing the fun (and it was actually pretty good), here’s a selection of photos from the parade, whose theme was la Libération of France.
Naturally, la Libération cannot begin without a certain M. De Gaulle, and so his car led the parade. Here it comes now:
The car moves closer, with the General acknowledging the crowds:
And finally we get a good view of the General himself. Not a bad interpretation, I thought — a serious young chap, intense and proud — although his mustache needed some work. Here he is:
From then on, it was pretty much a series of heavy fighting equipment, mostly of the U.S. variety. For starters, here’s a plane, that I suppose is intended to be a large bomber:
Here’s the plane as it rumbled past me, passing through the main village square. I thought the addition of the attractive young lady at the back of the plane was a nice touch, and would certainly have kept up the spirits of the crew.
Finally (for today, anyway), here’s what I assume is a staff car. The young woman’s role was to throw confetti on the crowd:
Before we leave for today, a few comments on the parade and what it represents:
First, putting this together must be an amazing amount of work for many, many volunteers. While some of the construction is a bit crude, it was all well intentioned and creative. Well done!
Second, I thought it was a big step forward from last year’s parade, whose theme was “music,” and which for some reason featured an awful lot of men dressed up as women.
And third, it was fascinating to see the emphasis on the United States. I may be wrong, but I don’t think I saw any flags other than French flags (of course) and U.S. flags, and possibly one Australian flag. And virtually all the military equipment was branded with U.S. symbols.
Now I don’t know which armies from which countries actually reached Daglan at the end of World War II, but I would have thought that remembrances of the liberation of the nation would also be remembered for the participation of troops from Britain and Canada as well. Evidently not.
But more on that tomorrow, in Part 2.