Remembrances of parades past

In my last posting, I previewed what you might enjoy in this coming Sunday’s parade in Daglan. Posted on August 13, it was called “Lights! Camera! Action! (Our parade). ”

The Sunday afternoon parade each August is one of the highlights of our village’s four-day summer festival. (Okay, for me, it’s the only highlight). And the theme of this year’s parade, you may recall from my August 13th posting, is Le Cinema.

Today I’ll look back over a few of the parades of recent years, remind you of their themes, and show off some of my favourite entries. In other words, a hit parade of parades.

Let’s start with last year, when the parade was given the immodest theme of Les civilisations, thus allowing the entrants a lot of scope to deal with ancient history.

An obvious candidate was Ancient Egypt, whose entry featured our Mayor dressed as a Pharaoh. Here he is in person, chatting with my wife Jan (on the right) and another villager:

Mr. Mayor, as a Pharaoh, meets some subjects.

Another culture from long ago, featured in the 2016 parade, was the group we know as Vikings. And here are some of them, paddling  or poling their way through the main street of Daglan:

These guys managed to look fairly authentic.

The 2015 parade, in contrast, had a more modern (and more limited) scope, since the theme was the history of the automobile. This was probably my least favourite parade of recent years, since I don’t think the parade-makers were able to flaunt their creativity as spectacularly.

Still, there were a few good sights — including our Mayor (once again), this time dressed up as the Michelin Man. Have a look:

The Michelin Man, officially called Bibendum.

For the 2014 parade, the organizers offered the theme Carnaval, which allowed for a lot of creativity, with the chance to feature cultures from all around the world. Like, for instance, China:

The traditional dragon leads the way.

For sheer flamboyance, the Brazilian entry in the 2014 parade was the winner. It goes to prove that when you give some Daglan residents the chance to wear feathers and tight clothes, and dress in drag, they go all out, like this:

The Brazilian float in full swing.

But for a few reasons, I think my favourite parade of recent years was the one in 2013, when the theme was La Pub. I should explain that the phrase, in French, doesn’t refer to British taverns,  but rather to publicity, or advertising.

That theme gave parade-makers a lot of latitude to be creative while promoting, or making fun of, well known products. But there was another element to the 2013 parade — the buzz of local politics, including a few swipes at the village’s then-Mayor, a dour woman who brought to her post all the flair and warmth of a constipated actuary.

For instance, here is a huge boat with fishermen on top, representing a brand of canned fish.  On the ends of their fishing rods were actual fish (salmon, as I recall), which they swung over the heads of the onlookers. However, as they passed the office of the Mayor, they made a point of slamming the fish against its windows. And here are the fishermen, hugely enjoying themselves:

Fishermen working the crowd in Daglan.

Best of all, I think, was the entry designed to look like a well-known brand of laundry detergent. Not terribly amusing in itself, but there were some not-so-subtle messages on the box. One was the reference to “0% alcohol,” which was a dig at the local administration for cracking down on the sale of beer and other alcoholic beverages at various festivals and events. Here’s the entry, with the alcohol-free notice on the front of the package:

The OMO float — centre of attention at the parade.

For the 2013 parade, I actually posted twice — once on the parade as I first saw it, and again when some of the political messages became clearer. In that second posting, I wrote that:

… I pointed out that the front of the laundry soap package on the float said “0% alcohol.” What I missed at the time, however, were the words that you can just barely see on the side of the float: Promo. Printemps 2014. Grand lessivage.

Translation: “Special Offer. Spring 2014. Big clean-up.” In other words, “Look for a big cleaning out of the civic administration during next spring’s elections.”

Flowing out from the OMO entry was a flood of foam, that eventually pretty much covered the entire street. Here’s how it looked:

Care for a beer? Just wade through the foam.

Can we expect more local politics in this year’s parade? We’ll have to wait and see. Interestingly, the message on the side of the OMO box turned out to be prophetic — there really was a massive change in the village council, during the election of 2014. You just never know.

 

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