Did you ever have this thought: “What if I threw a party, and nobody came?” I must admit I was feeling a bit of that apprehension before yesterday’s Marché de Noël.
Knowing the huge amount of work that had gone into organizing the Christmas market, I was concerned that only a few people would show up — if for no other reason than it was a new event for the village. But boy, was I wrong: the Marché de Noël proved to be an unqualified day-long success.
In fact, yesterday was something of a Super Sunday for Daglan, as the Christmas market — which opened at 10 a.m. — and the winter truffle market — which began at 11 a.m. — came together nicely. I wrote about both markets in “Getting the most from Sunday’s events,” which I posted on December 6.
Having described the Marché de Noël in that posting, today I’ll simply offer some photos and brief descriptions about the event, starting with the front entrance to our Salle des fêtes. That’s where a garland had been draped around the doors, while outside were several food stalls:
All along the hall inside were vendors selling everything from toys to Christmas decorations to jewellery. There was even a place where children could have their faces painted. Here’s a look at a couple of the stalls, photographed from just behind the large Christmas tree that had been placed in the centre of the hall:
At the far end of the hall was the market café, which (as you can see) featured an amazing array of cakes, cookies, rolls, coffee and tea. Most of the treats had been made by the volunteers themselves. As well, the volunteers behind the tables were taking orders for several cooked items, like bacon and sausage sandwiches, which were prepared by a cook in the large kitchen at the far end of the building.
This charming lady was one of the vendors that my wife Jan and I spoke with. She proudly said that she made all the decorations herself, while her husband had made the confitures that she was selling.
Of course you can’t have a Marché de Noël without Père Noël, and here he is — moving from table to table, handing out treats to the delighted visitors. (That’s Mrs. Claus in the background, having a laugh.)
Throughout the day, visitors bought items from the various vendors; snacked on the baked treats; ate lunch; drank a variety of beers and vin chaud; bought raffle tickets; and of course chatted.
How successful was the event? Well, I’ll offer just two examples: First, virtually all the baked goods were sold by the end of the day, a real testament to how yummy the treats looked. As well, I can confirm that all 10 litres of the vin chaud (mulled wine) had been guzzled. I’m confident about the last statement, because Jan made the mulled wine and she and I served glasses of it through the day. But there were similar successes in every corner of the hall.
Will the Christmas market become an annual event in Daglan? I certainly wouldn’t bet against that. It truly was a success, and a tribute to the creativity, generosity, and plain hard work of all the volunteers — members of the village’s “friendship club, ” or Club de l’Amitié Daglanaise.
I’ll leave you with a quick peek at the winter truffle market, which is held every Sunday in the courtyard of Daglan’s public school. I was there at 11 a.m., sharp when it began, and managed to score a very nice, large truffle for 30 euros. Jan has already turned it into a log of truffle butter, and it’s now resting in our freezer, ready to go.