La Libération — Part 1

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:

Lead car - 1

A marching band runs interference for the General.

The car moves closer, with the General acknowledging the crowds:

Lead car - 2

The General's car pulls ever closer.

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:


He passes before our eyes.

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:


The business end of a fighting plane, complete with rocket launcher.

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.

Bomber - 2

The bomber flies right on past us.

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:

Staff car

One of many, many confetti throwers in the parade.

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.

This entry was posted in Life in southwest France, Tourist attractions. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to La Libération — Part 1

  1. ChiefScout says:

    I am glad they acknowledged the Americans. Seems De Gaulle forgot to do so in his speech at the Liberation of Paris.

    Why do you desire that we hide the emotion which seizes us all, men and women, who are here, at home, in Paris that stood up to liberate itself and that succeeded in doing this with its own hands?
    No! We will not hide this deep and sacred emotion. These are minutes which go beyond each of our poor lives. Paris! Paris outraged! Paris broken! Paris martyred! But Paris liberated! Liberated by itself, liberated by its people with the help of the French armies, with the support and the help of all France, of the France that fights, of the only France, of the real France, of the eternal France!

  2. Loren says:

    That is so well written, Chief Scout, that it’s like the General Himself has spoken these very words! (And by the way, it’s 11 p.m. here, and the thump-thump-thump of the bumper cars is still pounding into the house. Maybe the General can liberate us from the Daglan festival…)

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