According to our neighbour, Mme André, the Comice Agricole comes to Le Grand-Pressigny every six years. We somehow managed to miss it last time so this year we were keen to get the full flavour of the event.
By Friday the whole village had been decorated with paper flowers. There must have been thousands of them and they looked fantastic. No property was left unadorned, regardless of how dilapidated it was.
Without a doubt the main event was the grand procession on Sunday afternoon. This was to be at 3.30pm, preceded by a parade of Cadillacs. The Cadillacs were late but after a while one turned up, lost, and was given directions to the start!
There turned out to be only three Cadillacs and a trike in their parade but they were jolly and got the crowd interested. More and more people arrived to fill the village square.
The balloon seller turned up, and didn’t seem to have sold too many, Except to one little boy……
I was in danger of having the large white balloon in the corner of all of the photos I took of the parade. After a while I pushed it gently out of the way of my camera. Later on I batted it out of view and even later still I came close to pricking it with a pin….
The Comice Agricole is a celebration of rural life in South Touraine and the theme for the procession this year was “La Forêt Tourangelle”. Each village decorated a float (tractor) to represent their interpretation of the theme. First to arrive was a brass band.
All aspects of forest and country life were represented on the floats. They were magnificently and flamboyantly decorated, in a woodland kind of way!
Children played a huge part in the event, including a brave demonstration by this little one in a troop of dancers.
The adults were having a pretty good time, too! And half way through the procession there was more music.
Some of the floats had taken a huge amount of skill and effort to create, such as this one with a hunting horn, deer and dogs created from flower petals – not dissimilar to the well dressings I am used to in Derbyshire.
I liked the name of this float – there used to be a sign at each end of the village showing that you were entering “Pressigny le Grand”. Then one year I noticed they were no longer there.
It was a fantastic event. I loved the fact that all the floats were home made. Not for us the glamorous dancing troops from all over France and the exotic displays from the colonies. This was a pure and simple celebration of rural life in the villages within a few kilometres of Le Grand-Pressigny, just local people taking part and having a wonderful time. I felt proud and moved to have been there.
I loved every minute…….apart from that balloon seller………