We love a parade … and foam

Each year the Sunday parade during Daglan’s four-day August fête has a theme — and this year, it was La Pub. My first reaction when I saw those two words on the festival’s program was to run for cover: I figured that every float in the parade would be a model of a British pub, and everyone on them would be sloshed. Then it dawned on me that pub is French shorthand for la publicité, or advertising.

What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was foam. Who could possibly have predicted the major role it would play in the parade?

In any case, it turned out that the entries in the parade this year all represented  some sort of parody of advertising, or publicity, or well-known brand names. For example, here’s the first float, with Ricard (a popular alcoholic drink, like Pernod) substituted for the word Rugby in the more usual Rugby Club of Daglan. You’ll also note the guy in the right foreground, who was one of many participants handing out M & M candies:

The lead float announces the theme -- défilé is French for parade.

The lead float announces the theme — défilé is French for parade.

Music is a big part of our annual parade, and this group was really belting it out — with the young lady in the centre leading the action:

It's all about the drums and the horns.

It’s all about the drums and the horns.

Have I shown you any foam yet? I don’t think so, but it’s coming soon. For an early taste (so to speak), here’s a big guy in a diaper with some foam on his right leg. Curious, isn’t it?

The large guy in white was one of many wearing a diaper yesterday.

The large guy in white was one of many wearing a diaper yesterday.

As it turned out, this next photo shows the centre of the foam action in the parade. I need to explain two things: OMO is the brand name for a type of laundry soap, and the label “0% Alcool” on the front of the float is a wry comment on the fact that the Daglan fête has a reputation for being rather wet, if you get my drift:

The OMO float -- centre of attention at the parade.

The OMO float — centre of attention at the parade.

On the back of the float, there was a tub full of foam and a few guys having a very foamy bath:

The boys in the bath.

The boys in the bath.

In between the floats, there were more bands with more music. This group of brass instruments and drums stayed with us for quite a while (we were sitting in front of the restaurant Le Petit Paris, by the way), and the lead drummer was really pounding away:

This guy could seriously hit this drum.

This guy could seriously hit this drum.

Then came this fishing boat, allegedly a tuna-fishing ship that sails on the Céou River (the tributary of the Dordogne River that flows through Daglan and just might be able to hold a few canoes):

A tuna-fishing boat -- from Daglan's Céou River.

A tuna-fishing boat — from Daglan’s Céou River.

On top of the fishing boat were these two guys with rods and reels, with actual fish attached to the ends of their lines. They kept dangling the fish into the crowds on both sides of the parade:

Fishermen working the crowd in Daglan.

Fishermen working the crowd in Daglan.

Another highlight was an entry that was supposed to be a dairy. Here, the farmer is trying to milk a cow into a pail, while the blonde farmer’s daughter dances around:

Milking the joke for all its worth.

Milking the joke for all its worth.

Soon after the dairy came a honey producer –offering miel (honey) from La Begonie, which is a small hamlet above Daglan. As you can see, there’s already a bit of foam on the road, but just wait; there’s lots more where that came from.

This entry was representing a honey producer.

This entry was representing a honey producer.

As we neared the end of the parade, a local group of drummers came along, banging furiously on their instruments:

Drums along the parade route.

Drums along the parade route.

By now, as you’ll soon see, the guys from the OMO float have been spreading their magic. Foam is starting to cover the village’s main street:

A nice, rich layer of foam covers Daglan's main street.

A nice, rich layer of foam covers Daglan’s main street.

And here’s how things looked near one of the more popular features of the fête, the beer tent:

Care for a beer? Just wade through the foam.

Care for a beer? Just wade through the foam.

And here’s a look at the parade as it moves past the main square, heading out of town:

The parade moves out of the village -- for a first time.

The parade moves out of the village — for a first time.

But that’s not all. Once the parade has made its way through the village — heading north, in the direction of St. Cybranet — it turns around and repeats the trip, headed south. Naturally, this allows for more merry-making, and lots more foam action, like this:

One of the honey bees enjoys the foam, along with the crowd.

One of the honey bees enjoys the foam, along with the crowd.

And like this:

Even more foam to enjoy.

Even more foam to enjoy.

This morning, we had a grey and rainy start to the day. So by mid-morning, there weren’t any signs of foam on the streets — just lots of confetti that had been thrown from several of the entries in the parade.

My wife Jan and I checked things out as we re-entered Daglan, having spent the night (for the third night in a row) at a hotel on the other side of the Dordogne River. It was lovely: Well-air conditioned, no bands, no music.

And now, as evening begins to fall, we are back at home in Daglan and are still being “entertained” by loud announcements and music from the dodge-em car ride in the centre of the village. The good news is that this is the last evening of the féte for this year. Phew.

This entry was posted in Festivals in France, Life in southwest France and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to We love a parade … and foam

  1. Sam says:

    Lorenzo, that honestly looks like FUN. We have to put up with the rock and country bands in front of our condo on the Riverfront each year for the DeSoto Festival (now called the more politically correct (Heritage Festival after they realized Hernando killed the Timucuans or gave them Syphillis).

  2. loren24250 says:

    Yes, it really is fun, and it’s great to see how the Daglanaise get into it. We always laugh about how much some of the Daglan men like to wear women’s clothing for the parade — this year, it was diapers! And while we complain about the noise of the festival, it’s only the late-night noise that bugs us. The banging of the drums during the parade itself is great.

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