Regular readers will be aware that I refer to Daglan’s August event known as the Fête de la Saint-Louis as our village’s Festival of Heat and Noise. Much of the activities are just fine (games for kids, small rides, booths for snacks) but in the village’s main square there is always a full-sized bumper-car ride, which plays loud music over raised speakers until 2 a.m. It’s awful.
Since our home is not far from the main square, Jan and I usually plan to be away for several nights during the festival. But this year, we figured we’d be safe — because of the Covid-19 pandemic, surely the village wouldn’t hold the fête, would it? Instead, we have a bit of a mystery going on. Here’s what’s happening, starting with information I’ve just copied from the Mairie‘s official website:
Le Salon de la Gastronomie et La Fête de La Saint Louis n’auront pas lieu cette année due au COVID
Okay, so no fête, right? But literally next to the Flash info notice is a calendar for the month of August, showing that from Friday, August 21 through Sunday, August 23, the village will host the Fêtes de Daglan. Note that the word Fêtes is plural, so maybe it’s going to be a different kind of activity? I’m not sure. Here’s more to consider:
Late last week, Jan was heading over to a friend’s house for some morning exercise, when she was almost run over by another friend, whose house happens to be right on the square. Our friend was red-faced and furious: She had just asked one of the village workers why he was taking measurements in the square, and he replied that he was preparing for the Fête. So our friend went off running to the Mairie, to ask just what was going on.
She later told Jan that, at the Mairie, she was informed that the Fête was going ahead, but that all the activity would be in the square, instead of being spread through the village. She was aghast!
Now here we are at August 11, and so far there is no publicity for any kind of festival, at least that I’ve seen. In the past, yellow banners are hung throughout the village, heralding previous festivals, and the themes of the Sunday parade. So far, no banners, no posters.
At Daglan’s convenience store, Jan asked what the well-connected couple there knew about the fête; Christian told Jan that there would be some kind of festival, but that everything would take place behind the Salle des fêtes or community hall — not the main square.
Today I drove there, and could see no evidence of any preparation for any kind of festival.
And here’s one more item: Late this morning I was out for a drive and found trucks and vans lined up at the stade, or village rugby pitch; these usually carry the vendors and other staff who take part in the festival, and who arrive early to set up. Here’s a look:
Now, who are these people?
And further along the road, at an open area where large vehicles are often parked, I saw this rather imposing truck:
Just what is inside this vehicle?
To you, it may look just like a typical long-haul transport of some sort. To me, it looks exactly like the truck that carries all the equipment for setting up the bumper-car ride.
Stay tuned, because surely this needs a follow-up.