* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Friday, February 27, 2015

A violet festival -- the parade

Tourrettes Parade 01Having grown up in the backyard of the granddaddy-of-them-all real vegetation parade, the Pasadena Rose Parade, I've scorned fake materials floats all my life.  Snobbism, I know.  But that allows me to appreciate other efforts using all fresh flowers.

Although I never made it to the Rose Parade in person until many years later, I also thought of parades on a large scale and had no experience with small town efforts.  Not only did I just attend a very small scale parade with real flowers, it was held in a Medieval village, a backdrop not possible in any American small town.

I thought you might like to see how it turned out.

Don't forget the option of clicking on any photo to see it in larger detail.

It seems like all good parades start off with a band, including French ones, with more musical groups dotted throughout.  Here is a French small village take.  The individuals were as much fun as the music, which also was quite good (and noisy!).  Unfortunately, while we were beautifully situated in the sun watching, my camera was thus directly facing it, creating havoc with my pictures.

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Starting off the parade
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Dancing in the street
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Never too old to have fun

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Really getting into it
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Great guy!
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Wearing our jammies in public

As the town is known for its violets, and the region for its mimosas, both currently in bloom, obviously the recurring theme is in purple and yellow using those flowers.  There is apparently an organization now celebrating 36 years, and their float led the parade.

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More mimosas than violets
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Love the lady in the big hat
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I play with flowers

Every parade needs to have its local beauty queens driven in a classy car, and this one was no exception.  Congrats to the winner and her two runner-ups.  I wish I could have captured this airplane better, it was rather amazing.

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Which is the beauty, the girls or the car?
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Up, up, and away

I'm not sure what prompted a nautical theme, but these floats were also rather amazing.  The volunteers helping to protect from the crowd were also real characters, but I wasn't able to capture them reasonably.

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We all live in a yellow submarine . . .
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. . . or maybe outside of one

While there was a float for the local soccer team, there was also a rather interesting display for the rugby team.  Nothing like having purple flowers all over your uniform!  The reproduction of a ball in flowers was pretty cool, and the busload of teammates also served as carriers for the float, massive shoulder padding included.

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We're pulling the bus (wink wink)
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Playing rugby is easier than being a bus
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Flower ball

All parades have their local celebrities helping out, and I found these particularly adorable.

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Don't lose your balance
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Miniature sailor
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I'm done!

I thought it was kind of fun how everyone got into the flowers.  One float had a really pretty display of violets and mimosas, while tires and feet continued the theme.

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Following the theme
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Mimosa feet
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Violet wheels

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I want one!

Something I've never seen in the US (as if I've seen many flower parades in the US) is the Battle of the Flowers after the last tour of the floats, a major part of the Nice Carnival.  This village was not to be outdone. 

More interesting than managing to take home a well used flower or two is watching everybody of all ages fight for them like they were diamonds as they got tossed!

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Ready . . .
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set . . .

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The party's over

And when it's over, it's over.  Not just a whole lot left!  Hopefully everybody went home with all the flowers they wanted and all the enjoyment they could wish for. 

It was a beautiful day (making up for the horrid day they'd had the day before); I'm sure the organizers were quite satisfied.

I hope you've enjoyed this little pictorial, especially if you are currently covered in a ton of snow.


  1. These floats are fabulous and everybody really got into the spirit of the day, it looks like. Everything looked so fresh and I suspect was way more fun than the Rose Parade.

  2. You certainly know how to make life in your part of the world very enticing.


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