The possibilities are mind-boggling: Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday in the GDA. Last Year in Monpazier. L’Age d’or à Daglan. The Umbrellas of Castelnaud. Hilsenheim mon amour. And of course, Last Tango in Daglan.
Yes, it’s time to celebrate films in our village, all because of our annual August fête. Officially, it’s the Fête de la Saint-Louis, although my wife Jan and I like to think of it as The Festival of Heat and Noise.
The one element of the four-day fun-fest that Jan and I actually enjoy is Sunday’s Défilé de chars, or parade with floats. Which always has a theme, to inspire the float-makers and marchers and to amuse the spectators. And this year, it’s Le Cinema (to put that in English, it’s The Cinema).
Here is the full program, as posted on the front of the village’s convenience store, and photographed today in real time by me:
Boiling all that down a bit, the highlights are: A dinner and music on Friday night; a dinner and a concert on Saturday night; the parade on Sunday afternoon and fireworks at night; and a Bal musette on Monday night. (The Monday bicycle race of years past clearly has disappeared from the program.)
The festival comes at a time when the crowds, and the temperatures, are usually at their summer peaks. Here’s a look at our weekly market this morning, which was pretty much packed with visitors:
Here’s another look at the market action. In the background, you may be able to see a yellow banner, fluttering from one of the buildings near our convenience store. These banners are all through the village, and each one shows the theme of a previous festival parade.
The banners showing each year and that year’s parade theme can be seen all over the place — as you’ll see in this view up the Rue de la République:
And what’s so good about the Sunday parade? Well, a bunch of stuff. (1) It can get pretty whacky. Lots of guys in the GDA, for instance, seem to like dressing in drag. Go figure. (2) It’s often pretty creative. Some of the work that goes into the floats is amazing. (3) The atmosphere is all about fun. This is an event for the whole family, so if you’re in the area and are vacationing with kids, be sure to visit. (4) It’s free. What else is there to say? Well, I suppose you could shout: “Lights! Camera! Action!”