For a small village, Daglan certainly seems to punch above its weight — at least when it comes to summer festivals. So the Greater Daglan Area is now waiting anxiously for our four-day Fête de la Saint- Louis, which starts on Friday.
(I know it’s weird, being la Saint Louis, when Saint Louis was, after all, male. You’d think it would be Fête du Saint-Louis. But no. It seems that the la refers, somehow, back to Fête, which is a feminine word. Go figure.)
In any case, a sure sign that the festival is imminent is the installation of yellow banners on poles around the village, which took place last week. Each banner signals the festival for a particular year, and indicates the theme of that year’s grand parade on Sunday afternoon. Here’s a typical view:
Now, what about the event itself? Actually, we are not huge fans. To be honest, I refer to the fête as the Festival of Heat and Noise, first because it occurs during the hottest month of the year, and second because the bumper-car ride that takes up half of the village’s main square plays loud music until very late in the evening. And it happens to be quite near our home.
During the days, the festival consists primarily of a wide variety of stalls located throughout Daglan, selling souvenirs, candies, cotton candy, games for children, and so on. But in the evenings, there are special events like meals, concerts, dancing, and fireworks.
Despite my lack of enthusiasm, I believe the Sunday parade is worth seeing, if you can. Here’s some of what I wrote in August 2016, in which I highlighted the parade:
It’s not as exciting as running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. It doesn’t have the high seriousness of a religious procession (or a funeral march) in Italy. And it certainly doesn’t have the polished professionalism of a North American event like the Rose Bowl parade in California.
But the Sunday parade in Daglan is unique, wacky, involving and fun — certainly the highlight of our annual four-day Fête de la Saint-Louis. Much of the community is involved behind the scenes, and the parade attracts not only the locals but tourists from all over. A Belgian couple we met this past weekend said they had never seen anything like it, anywhere in Europe.
I’ve been reliably informed that the theme for this Sunday’s parade is great inventions — presumably things like the telephone, the automobile, the MRI machine, and this blog. We shall see what the locals come up with.