La fête de la musique is a national event here in France with almost every town and village hosting events to mark the occasion. Having celebrated in St Jean d'Angély last June, we decided to head for the coast and our local beach this weekend to take part in the 20th annual Châtel en Fête - a two-day free music and dance festival with live bands on the beach and spectacular shoreline fireworks on Saturday evening, followed by a carnival-style procession of floats and dancers celebrating music across the decades through the centre of Châtelaillon-Plage on Sunday afternoon.
Saturday's revellers enjoyed live music and dance on the beach and through the streets of the town until sundown, followed by a fabulous display of fireworks to round off the day in style. We were sorry to have missed them, but we are very grateful to our friend Paul for his photos of Saturday evening.
A gentle morning stroll along the seafront from Les Boucholeurs to Châtelaillon, then mocktails, lunch by the Casino and a refreshing thé à la menthe in a lovely little tea shop on the route of the parade set us up perfectly to enjoy the festivities on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
The stalls from Saturday, loaded onto floats, a marching band, troupes of dancers of all ages and classic vehicles jigged, played and sang their way joyously through the centre of town to bring the weekend's celebrations to a close. This little guitar player was my personal favourite!
Châtelaillon is a delightful little resort, just 45 minutes' drive from Rue Vincent and hosts a variety of popular events through the year including the famous kite festival at Easter, which has become an annual 'must-see' for our family and visitors. I suspect that Châtel en Fête will now be compulsory, too!