In the village of La Rochebeaucourt with its 330 inhabitants, the work for Les Fêtes de Pâques begins four months before Easter. At the heart of the festivities is a parade of decorated floats. Five no-so-young men start the ball rolling. Using ancient tools, they stamp out 65,000 individual flowers from crepe paper in more than 50 different colours. These are passed to teams of French and English ladies. Meeting over tea/coffee, cakes, and gossip, they turn the cut paper into flowers of various styles. The flowers are then individually glued by hand to a steel and wire mesh carcass. It’s a task that can make you high as a kite! Each carcass takes approximately 10,000 flowers, with one or two holding as many as 16,000.
Then comes the big day. Easter Sunday afternoon at 15h30. The sun is shining, the floats come out of the garage and children – all in fancy dress and armed with bags of confetti – board the decorated trailers drawn by old tractors. Two brass bands lead the parade into the village. For the Sunday evening parade, at 21h30, the floats are floodlit. On Monday afternoon, there are different bands and another huge crowd. A massive firework display at 22h30 caps off the festival on Monday evening.
It takes 4000 hours and a smidgen of anxiety to organise this festival. The work can be arduous, but the participants have plenty of laughs along the way. The festival is totally free to all. Many thanks to Leggett Immobilier, who is our major sponsor and whose Head Office is in the village of La Rochebeaucourt.
All our bars, restaurants and the boulangerie look forward to welcoming you. Come along and join us! You are guaranteed great fun and a very warm welcome.
Stuart Ross, organizer