Four years ago when we did our exchange in Selestat, one of the high-lights was going to the annual Flower Parade. Since we were here at the right time of year, we decided to go again.
Four years before we were able to walk to the parade. This time we needed to drive there and get a park. Since there was a big crowd the previous time, I decided to get to Selestat about 90 minutes early to get a park at the car park near the station. Obviously we could have arrived much later.
The parade circles the old city anticlockwise and we stood just to the north of the first bend at the left of the map.
The entry fee was still 7 euros.
The temperature was over 90 degrees and very humid so people were taking advantage pf the beer tents and we decided an icecream would be refreshing.
Melon. It cost 1 euro.
After the parade there would be a concert. We did not plan to attend.
We understood that if you payed extra you could sit on these stands. I imagine only the stupid would do this since there was no shade. You would have baked.
Four years ago there was a beer tent selling Fosters but not this time. Even though we were early, I was getting the feeling that attendance would be lower than four years before. Take a look at the first few pictures from four years before.
Most people were taking advantage of any shade they could find. They seemed to be happy and the kids were having a good time getting out of control.
Sitting on the kerb was popular.
The parade started shortly after 6pm with some blokes pedaling old bicycles. Not really all that exciting but better than nothing.
Then an old fire engine turned up and the parade really got going.
It was followed by a long line of old cars. If you don't like old car photos, start scrolling down.
One of them broke down and got in the way of those following. They pushed it off to one side and eventually got it going again.
Many of the older cars were right hand drive and the women passengers tended to dress up to match the occasion.
Three beauty queens.
This was an Allard.
A Renault 4CV.
An old Mini.
I recognized this ugly Citroen snout from four years before and yes, it was the same car.
A Mega Club which seems to have been a rebodied Citroen and was to used for off road activities.
Of course there were a lot of Citroen 2CVs.
There was a ten minute break where everybody got bored.
Eventually this bloke on a penny farthing appeared and shortly after the floats started to appear.
The floats move so slowly that he had to keep doing circles to keep pace with the bus.
Four years ago there were lots of marching girls. This was all we got this year and they really did not seem to be all that enthused. I can't blame them since it was really hot and humid.
The first float arrived. They used the same tractors as four years ago to pull the floats.
This group put out quite a din.
I have tried to do longer videos to give you an idea of the sound.
This group were weird and wonderful.
The big contraption holds their sound system that pounds out some music.
This group seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
I was pleased to see the reappearance of the exotic dancers. Blue this time instead of green from four years ago.
Yes, you get a very good view of their bottoms.
A bubble machine produced copious quantities that lingered in the air for some time.
This huge cow bells made an incredible din.
Just as they past us, the parade came to a halt so they gathered in a circle and had a grand deafening shake of the bells and clomped them down on the ground in unison.
They took off their harnesses and they were soaked. I would hope they all wore earplugs.
An American style marching band. The brass were not playing when they approached us but I could hear them further down the street. They did not have quite the swagger of an American band.
This group on bouncy stilts were both weird and scary.
Those wagons put out a lot of sound. Maybe I should design my own.
After I while I realized that I was enjoying the bands and other acts more than the floats.
However it must be a huge amount of work to create these things.
Yes, I got my start as a toadstool.
Another marching band.
Here is a link to one of their performances.
Stilts seemed to be popular this year.
She would go up to people and lightly touch then on the head with her stick. It was all very elegant.
Somebody must have enjoyed creating this.
After the parade was over, Marianne gathered these disks for her ephemera collection.
The final float carrying the beauty queens.
Obviously you needed to be blonde to get a prize.
The parade was over after 50 minutes. Four years ago it lasted 80 minutes so I wonder if the drop off in numbers is caused by the heat or the shorter parade. We were glad we went but it was not quite the wow experience of four years ago.
We walked back to our car through the tunnel under the railway tracks. Marianne pointed out this mural. I had a cold beer when we got home.