Sunday, August 14, 2011

Selestat Flower Parade

Our exchange family had let us know that this flower parade was an event not to be missed so we toddled over to the old part of town to see the parade start at 6pm on a very nice Saturday evening.

We were not the only ones walking over to see the parade.

It cost 7 euros each to attend and they would have made a lot of money.

Some poor bloke had fallen over and was being helped into an ambulance.

Initially we stood here to wait for the parade but then realized that there was more space about 50 yards up on the left.

Opposite us was this Fosters booth. I thought of wandering over saying 'G'day mate' and asking for a cold leaded but reckoned they wouldn't have a clue what I was talking about. Unleaded in Australia means light beer, leaded means regular beer. Besides, it wouldn't taste the same because it probably isn't made in Oz, just as the Fosters they sell in the US is made in Canada and tastes nothing like the real thing. And in case you don't know, not too many people in Oz drink Fosters which is originally a beer from Melbourne. Victoria Bitter, or VB is much more popular.

So the parade kicked off with some old cars and trucks, mostly French Citroens and Renaults.

This has to be one of the ugliest snouts of all time.

This Citroen DS21 is on my top favourites list. This was the car where the headlights swiveled as you went round a bend. The technology in this car was amazing for its time.

Evidently the Harlem Globetrotters are coming to Selestat on November 6. This troupe were advertising the event. Be there!

So next were the marching girls. The enthusiastic ones were up the front of each group. There was significantly less enthusiasm down the back.

I put in the video so that you can hear the brass instruments play with that abandon that only the French can achieve. This is where most of the recordings of Berlioz's March to the Scaffold in the Fantastic Symphony go wrong. They sound much too precise and they don't capture the way the French really play their brass instruments.

Finally the flowered floats appeared, each pulled by an old tractor.

There were marshalls walking beside each float. I can only presume they were there to stop onlookers getting at the floats.

There has to be an enormous amount of work going into each float and they must hope and pray that there is no rain on the day of the parade. The prayers worked this year. It is supposed to rain tomorrow.

This band riding the stretched bicycle and playing music while they did it came from Holland.

Bubbles everywhere.

This group put out an impressive beat. By the way, some of these videos are too short because I forgot to bring an extra SD card and I knew I had just about filled up the card in the camera. I did have extra batteries.

I was fascinated by the colour of the flowers in the cockpit of the plane.

I may not be an expert on judging fine horse flesh, but this one looks pretty good to me.

We picked a good spot to stand because most of the passing groups would stop in front of us and perform.

This group were too close to the group in front so it was difficult to hear their music.

Marianne took this photo and I liked the expression on the girl's face. Very pensive, probably thinking to herself  'I hope nobody I know is watching this parade'.

Eventually they performed a stylized dance routine.

The geese being herded by the dog were a big hit with the crowd.

What must have been the local 'exotic dancers' association also got into the act.

The green ribbon around the leg was eye catching. They need to have this sort of thing in the North East parade. Attendance would improve dramatically.

I suspect I would not look too good in this costume.

As each float passed by there was usually some girl ensconced who was throwing out flowers to the crowd.

This troupe advanced with an elegant dance. It was quite effective.

The costumes were quite something as were the girls.

As far as I could make out, these young ladies were this year's local beauty queens.

These people on the bicycles were amazing.

Most of the bands made a terrific din as they past by. This group was no exception.

These two young kids were standing beside us and they absolutely loved it all.

The white costumes were really effective.

Puffs of smoke came out of the chimney.

The final band.

And so the parade ended after about 80 minutes. It was great fun to see it and everybody seemed to enjoy it. I haven't seen a parade like this in almost 60 years since I went to the Carnival of Flowers parade in Toowoomba which is a similar event with floats covered in flowers as well as bands, cars etc.


  1. Great! One has to love those parades. I wished you would have taped some of the movies a bit longer. I like those sound and movement batches as they are so giving a real feel of the thing... Great post. Can only imagine how long it must have taken you to write and upload them all!

  2. Wow, what a great parade. I loved the geese and dog! Thanks for sharing.