Another long weekend in France...We don't celebrate Memorial Day here - but it is Pentecost on Monday - so it's a holiday. What I'm enjoying about Bordeaux is actually the same thing I loved about Saratoga Springs, NY (where we moved from) - you can always find something to do. As I was riding on the tram earlier this week I saw a billboard advertising a park festival - Le Mai Talencaise. Talence is another suburb of Bordeaux, right next to our town, so very convenient. This festival featured a lot of great artists, food vendors, family activities, and country charm. It was actually a 3 day festival - we ended up going twice - once on Saturday night and again on Sunday to enjoy the majority of the activities.
Saturday night featured Bootleg ABBA - a British tribute band to the 70's band ABBA. Now, I love ABBA's music and fell in love with the movie/Musical Mama Mia - so I was all over this event! Unfortunately, as we are in France, it didn't begin until 9:30 at night. It was held outside in the park and free to the public. After some discussion and a low key day - we decided to take all the kids to this event. (My 4 year old managed to fit in a dinnertime nap which I think helped her survive the evening!). Needless to say, it didn't disappoint - we met friends of ours there and we were entertained for the rest of the night! The band was excellent and we all had a great time listening, singing and dancing. I have to say, you know you have a preteen when she and her 12 year old friend roll their eyes when you start dancing and singing to the music! It didn't stop us though - and we all had a blast. Below, are a few photos from the concert - it was extremely well attended - so much fun! I was honestly amazed that this kind of event was free to the public. We definitely saw all generations enjoying this event.
After this wonderful concert, everyone was further treated to a beautiful display of fireworks! One would think this was the 4th of July or for the French Bastille Day (Independence Day July 14). The display was one of the most beautiful displays I have ever seen. The whole display was choreographed to music and was a musical and light journey around the world. The story was you were in a balloon floating around to the world experiencing the different countries and continents and the music matched the cultures. This was amazing as at times the fireworks were icy like Antarctica, or blue like the sea, glittery like India, Red -dragon like for China and Stars and Stripes for the USA. Quite the experience and I know my description does not do it justice. Below are a few examples.
So we had this feeling after that wonderful night that it should have been the climax or end of the festival - but there was another whole day left. I decided to take my kids back on Sunday to experience the day -time events.
As we entered the park, Sunday afternoon - we saw the farm area first. There were cows, chickens and goats. It was fun that the kids could get so close. My middle daughter who is my animal lover enjoyed petting one of the cows. She even wanted to name it Maisey. I think she might have stayed there for a long time if we didn't have so many other things to see.
After we walked through the farm area, the girls wanted to head over to the family activities. There were areas set up to play lawn games - mini soccer, balance beams, and giant connect-four game and even an obstacle course to follow. In addition to those free activities, there was the carousel, pony rides, mini-motor bikes and trampoline jumping. I gave my girls a choice as there were lines at many of these latter activities. Families could easily spend all afternoon or most of the day here. My youngest daughter decided she wanted to enjoy a few turns around the carousel- while my middle daughter (8 years old) decided the trampoline jumping would be a lot of fun. We have seen trampoline jumping before - but never had an opportunity to do until now. I was excited that she was feeling so brave.
I have not walked around Park Peixotto before this festival - Although each time I ride the tram into the city, we go by it - so I have seen it from outside the fence and always wondered what it was like inside. It is a beautiful park situated in the center of the suburb of Talence. Like the other parks I've found in Bordeaux - lots of nice walking/riding roads and small lakes and playground for the kids. This park also houses a beautiful chateau in the middle of the park. It's a charming place to spend an afternoon and even if this festival wasn't going on - it would be a very pleasant place to just enjoy.
Finally, I was taken with the diversity of vendors at this festival. There was a separate section for plants & flowers, another section for food products and artisan goods. I also loved the landscape and outdoor designer vendors who set up lovely displays to give people more ideas of what to do with outdoor living space. There was definitely a little something for everyone at this festival. As I said earlier, this was a 3 day festival and in addition to these vendors and activities which I mentioned there were dance & music presentations going on throughout the weekend. I loved the variety of demonstrations - from classical piano, to reggae, zumba & Calypso music. This festival will definitely be on my calendar to return to next year.