Last month we shared Montcabrier’s annual fete. Now we get to share St. Remy’s annual harvest fete. It began yesterday and continues for 10 days. Thankfully this time we are out of town. The fete begins every day with an artillery barrage at 9:00 AM!
Today we took a trip to Avignon to check out some health food stores and reconnoiter the route to pick up JP from the train in October. In the afternoon we returned to Le Petit Mas and I decided to walk to town for the fete parade at 4:30.
This is the parade of old trades or ways. It is a time for people to have some fun with their heritage. I found a carnival in the old town center. People began lining the streets. The parade began with a marching band dressed in traditional garb playing Roll Out The Barrel. There were basket weavers, fishermen, dairy maids, olive farmers, dairy farmers, vintners, trades people. the gentry in their antique cars, riders on Camargue horses, sheep farmers, and other farmers, and hosts of other folks. There is one Provencal ethnic group that plays bagpipes!
One of the highlights were the sheep. These animals are not easily led and easily distracted by crowds. The sheep farmers diligently lured the small flock with a bundle of hay and prodded them with sticks. However, the sheep refused to move. Eventually the parade marshal arrived to ask them to move aside so others could follow.
I love the parade of traditional clothes from the Victorian Era. The women’s dresses were beautiful with bright satin and lots of lace. The men were dashing in their suits, hats, and canes.
At the edge of town the boules tournament is going on all week. I stopped to catch a few minutes of this fascinating game.
After dinner Jean and I walked back down to town to see the carnival and enjoy a glace. Children were still enjoying the carnival. Adults were eating at the many cafes around the town center. Everyone was waiting for the dance to begin at 10:00 PM. As I draft this the band has begun to play. I can hear it inside our stone house over a kilometer away!