It’s that time of the year again, and our village is all set to go. The sky is blue, the weather is good (pleasant and not too hot), and les Daglanais are as prepared as they’ll ever be.
For some time, Daglan has been kicking into full fun mode for the annual four-day end-of-summer festival. The posters are up, all over the village, like this one on the outside of the 8 à Huit, our convenience store and unofficial centre for news dissemination:
Yes, it’s the Fête de la St. Louis (and no, I don’t understand why it’s “la” St. Louis, so if you understand the grammar, please share your thoughts with a Comment at the end of this posting). And this year, things seem much better organized than they were last year. One indication is that there are yellow banners hanging throughout the village, unlike the scene last year when publicity went into a sink hole. The banners indicate the theme of the Sunday fête parade over the years — like this banner for 1991:
And as of this evening, the stands and stalls and rides were pretty much all in place — like the huge bumper-car ride that dominates La Place de la Liberté, Daglan’s main square. Here it is, just behind that black car moving along the street:
Aside from the rides (and the noise from the speakers attached to the rides, which play all night long), what’s involved?
Well, on Friday (Aug. 22), there’s the “festive meal” starting at 8 p.m., followed by a musical show. Then on Saturday, there’s an afternoon pétanque tournament; games for children; a dinner; and then a rock concert starting at 10 p.m. On Sunday, there’s the afternoon parade, which I consider the best part of the whole festival, since it’s typically a wacky affair; as an example, here’s a photo from last year’s parade, showing Daglan’s main street covered in foam from one of the floats:
Late on Sunday evening there’s a pretty good fireworks show, and on Monday the whole festival concludes with a bike race (that draws scant attention) and a final dance (a Bal Musette) in the evening.
This year’s parade theme promises to encourage full-blown, over-the-top wackiness. It’s Carnaval. Yikes!
A final, personal note: My wife Jan and I are “all set to go” as well. We’re off to Paris and Normandy tomorrow morning, very early. So we’ll be missing the festival. (Drat.) But we’re sure to get a full report from the young woman who’s looking after our house, and our cat Scooter, while we’re away.