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):
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:
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:
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:
This photo will give you a better idea of how elaborate the float was:
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:
And here’s the dragon in the centre of the village, being waved right into the rows of onlookers:
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:
This next entry appears to represent Italy’s most famous carnival (the Carnevale de Venezia):
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:
As you can see, there was a lot of activity around the float:
And this costumed guy on top of the float naturally attracted a lot of attention:
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:
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?