All set to go!

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:

The poster provides the days for the festival -- all four of them.

The poster provides the days for the festival — all four of them.

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:

The parade theme in 1991? The Bounty.

The parade theme in 1991? The Bounty.

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:

A ride in the main square of Daglan, France, as part of the summer festival, August 2014.

The bumper cars are all set to go.

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:

A foamy coating on Daglan's main street.

A foamy coating on Daglan’s main street.

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.


This entry was posted in Festivals in France, French food, Holidays in France, Life in southwest France, Tourist attractions, Weather in the Dordogne and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to All set to go!

  1. Susie says:

    Can’t wait to hear/see Scooter’s review!

    • loren24250 says:

      That’s assuming he can still meow. Our house-sitter has a young and very dynamic son who loves playing with Scooter — making the cat leap up to catch string, and so on. We expect to find Scooter asleep on our bed when we arrive home, thoroughly exhausted.

  2. D2 says:

    The 1991 parade banner reminded me of the 1664 beer that is numero 1 in France. Sorry no idea past that…I guess this is what keeps France French and thats ok!

  3. Lesley says:

    I know that my dog would HATE all the noise and razamataz that the Fete will produce and I hope that Scooter is up to it or at least under the duvet while the fireworks are let off. We went to and enjoyed a couple of hours at the Tour Moncalou Thursday.

    • loren24250 says:

      Our house sitter reports that Scooter was looking out our bedroom window during the fireworks, and seemed both interested and worried — a look that seems to suit cats!

  4. Jennifer says:

    Fete de la St Louis. As I understand it this might originally have been Jour de la fete de St Louis, and then they leave out the fete but keep the la. Just to confuse us! As in féte de la Saint Martin – an Indian summer.

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