Saturday 12 March 2011

En fête

This weekend is Charnizay's big weekend. The village is 'en fête' and the great and good of Charnizay turned out.  Earlier in the week little yellow diversion signs began to spring up and the intersection in front of the church was cordoned off for the dodge 'em cars and other small fairground rides. Then yesterday the 'proper' deviation signs appeared and the village was blocked off for traffic; much needed as the main road up from Preuilly sur Claise to Loches runs straight through.
brocante & fair
Today there was a brocante/vide grenier/market, tomorrow there will be a VTT randonee (mountain bike ride).  It was a real pity the weather wasn't a good as yesterday when it was glorious. This morning it soon started clouding over and by late morning it was spitting rain and a gusty wind had blown up which played a bit of havoc with some of the stands.

There were stalls all long the main street. Some were manned by private individuals--full of bric a brac, others were traders selling things as diverse as umbrellas, US western gear --the French seem to love that stuff-- and socks & gentlemen's underwear. There was also a specialist pan stall--the pan lids had intricate gauges to judge the heat and when the contents were sufficiently cooked I think.

carnival masks
In the local library --yes we have one and it even has a tiny English section-- the local historical association had set up an excellent display about the history of Charnizay and the association's activities. Also on display were some wonderful carnival masks made by the village school children.

We had a chat with the gentleman manning the association display and came away with a copy of the 1840 map of the commune of Charnizay from the L'atlas cadastral d'Indre et Loire, some replica old postcards and some other fascinating historical bits and bobs.

historical exhibition
We've posted about the village and links to Acadia in Canada before. One of the association's displays recounted how some Acadians had been resettled south of La Roche Posay in the mid 18th century. 

Briefly: These Acadians had been imprisoned in England during the French & Indian War [1754 - 63] and on their release in 1763 they were given the opportunity to return to Acadia. However, they refused saying that they did not consider themselves English subjects but French and therefore they came to France. More of this in future posts....
detail of the commune de Charnizay, 1840


GaynorB said...

Shame about the weather.
Is this the fete where you were going to take a stall?
The Acadian connection sounds interesting and I look forward to finding out more...

Niall & Antoinette said...

yes we were intending to take a stall but events conspired against us. Still, we intend to give it a go at one brocante or another later this year and there are plenty to choose from :-)

We're going to check out the actual place--seemingly there's a small museun etc and will post when we know more.

Jean said...

Although the weather was not ideal, at least there always seems to be something going on all year round in the region. A comforting thought for those of us who hanker after moving there one day and will need something to entertain us.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jean: you're right about activities and events--there's always something going on. Despite the weather the brocante was pretty busy and yesterday there was a good crowd for the randonee.