Carnaval: The fête parade we never saw

You are about to witness some of the madness that was last Sunday’s parade in Daglan, a key event in our village’s four-day Fête de la St. Louis. These pictures are only possible because of the kindness of friends with cameras, because my wife Jan and I were in Paris on Sunday and completely missed seeing the parade.

Actually, if there is one part of the Daglan summer festival that I enjoy (and to be honest it’s the only one) it’s the Sunday parade. It’s a pretty wacky, homemade sort of affair, and everyone who takes part seems to enjoy the fun.

The crowds along the way join in, usually accepting with good grace the water that’s sprayed on them and the confetti that’s tossed everywhere.

For this year’s parade, the weather was less steamy than usual, although the sky was overcast (as you’ll see in the photos). The parade theme was Carnaval, so you can imagine that riotous colours and general goofiness were the orders of the day. Even villagers not in the actual parade got in on the action — for example, here’s the team at Daglan’s popular tea room, Le Thé Vert, in full costume, with a neighbouring man joining them in celebration (photo courtesy of Judith Thomason):

The woman with the green accented costume is Judith, the tea room's owner.

The woman with the green accented costume is Judith, the tea room’s owner.

As for the parade itself, all the following photos were provided exclusively to Radio Free Daglan by Alex Colquhoun, a young woman who will be returning to university in Scotland shortly, after spending the summer as an au pair with a Daglan family. (Many thanks, Alex!)

We’ll start with the float representing a carnival in Mexico:

The Mexican float heads into Daglan.

The Mexican float heads into Daglan.

You’ll note that the guy in the lower left of the photo has made time for a siesta, so it’s probably a fairly authentic Mexican float:

There's always time for a siesta.

There’s always time for a siesta.

It seems that an entry with a Chinese theme was another hit of the parade. Here’s the float being pulled up from the staging area and onto the main road into Daglan:

The Chinese float is pulled into the parade.

The Chinese float is pulled into the parade.

This photo will give you a better idea of how elaborate the float was:

A full-on look at the Chinese pagoda.

A full-on look at the Chinese pagoda.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a Chinese celebration without the traditional paper dragon, which was carried in front of the pagoda on the float:

The traditional dragon leads the way.

The traditional dragon leads the way.

And here’s the dragon in the centre of the village, being waved right into the rows of onlookers:

Getting up close with the dragon.

Getting up close with the dragon.

Any good parade needs at least one marching band, and here’s the band that starred in Sunday’s celebration. They’re shown in front of La Petite Minoche, the popular shop in the centre of the village that sells all sorts of hats, featuring chapeaux made by the shop’s owner:

Here comes the marching band.

Here comes the marching band.

This next entry appears to represent Italy’s most famous carnival (the Carnevale de Venezia):

And now, representing Venice...

And now, representing Venice…

In this year when the World Cup was held in Brazil, it was inevitable that a float representing the fun and games of that huge country would be part of the Daglan parade. And here it is:

The Brazilian carnival float enters the parade.

The Brazilian carnival float enters the parade.

As you can see, there was a lot of activity around the float:

The Brazilian float in full swing.

The Brazilian float in full swing.

And this costumed guy on top of the float naturally attracted a lot of attention:

The centre of attention in the Brazilian float was this guy.

The centre of attention in the Brazilian float was this guy.

For a final look at the parade, here’s a decorated car moving through the centre of Daglan, with handfuls of confetti being flung around:

Flinging confetti at the onlookers.

Flinging confetti at the onlookers.

So far, all the reports on the fête and the parade have been positive, and I’m almost sorry we missed it. Now — where can we go next summer?

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

4 Responses to Carnaval: The fête parade we never saw

  1. Elisabeth Walters says:

    To the Isle of Wight!

  2. John Ison says:

    Alex seems to have omitted the Canadian float. Perhaps next year? Caribana theme?

    • loren24250 says:

      Good point, John. Yes — would the Canadian float have a theme based on Caribana? Or maybe something involving the Danforth? Or Le Select Bistro? Many possibilities!

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