03 August 2012

a parade not to be missed

At the tail end of July is the annual Fête du Village.  It's a one day celebration of the history and culture of our village. It's probably my favorite celebration. It brings the whole town together.  All the people participating dress up from the old days and there is a parade through town ending in the center square. There are folk dancers, farmers, loggers, school teachers, poker players, hay balers, carpenters and craftsmen. This year there was even an old-fashioned marriage processional. As the folkloric dancers would stop to sport a dance, our friend, D, dressed up as a ski-instructor gave demonstrations of how to put on wooden skis much to the enjoyment of the spectators.

The nanny that looks after Clover a couple days a week is greatly involved in the community and she sent me a text message a couple days before the fête. "Does Clover want to participate in the parade?" Without hesitation, I calmly responded that "Clover would like to partake in the festivities."  Not wanting to go overboard or over characters in my text message, I refrained from telling her just how excited his mother was that he would be in the parade. The word giddy is the first one that comes to mind.  Ridiculously excited.

So Clover was kitted out in an old timey outfit, little leather boots, cordoroy pants, suspenders and handknitted bonnet. The son of the nanny, looking dapper in his great grandfather's old mountain guide uniform, was absolutely adorable with Clover and took such good care of him during the parade.  They had white confetti for fake snow to throw to onlookers.   Clover was delighted. Throwing bits of paper into the air? For once it was encouraged!

Clover and his cousin rode side by side through the parade route. The little sledders happily sat for photos from parade bystanders, and lots from me, too.

I may have gone a little overboard on the photos but it was so hard not to. Clover's first parade. We loved every minute of it. Okay, I loved every minute of it. He loved about seventy-five percent which really for a toddler, that's practically one hundred and ten. Right?

There were vendors selling old-timey wares and at the center of town they had exhibits of what it was like to brew coffee back in the day, bale hale, chop wood, do your laundry with boiling pots of water and hand cranked tin drums, an old-fashioned meat smoker, of course, their was also a distillery. That one had the most people milling around it all times, they offered lots of tastings.

There was an abundance of accordion music. Numerous folk dancing groups from around the area came to show off their traditional dances on the stages set up in the square. The woman that heads up the folkloric dancing in our village recruited me to dance next year.  I've been trying to convince Félix to do it with me. I even tried to play the jealousy card. Did not even phase him.  I asked if he really wanted me to be dancing with some other man, and his response to that was that if it was folk dancing nothing would make him happier than to see me dancing with someone else.

So we got our fill of accordian music for the summer and had a great time with family and friends. Félix is already dreading that I'll ask him to be in the parade with me next year and of course, I am already a few steps ahead of him on that route.  I'm happily dreaming up what our costumes will be.


  1. Mills, I love your blog! This is such a wonderful entry....and oh how gallantly your dear little Clover did! Thank you for sharing this special day with us and for portraying life in France so beautifully, so that we all can share your experiences vicariously....

  2. Thank you for your kind words, Laura. Your message means a lot.


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