Michaela Merz

Fête des Vignerons 2019

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I arrived in Vevey on Saturday alongside 22’000 people. Vevey is one of the most idyllic cities that I know – Riverbanks, mountains, vineyards. Now, to top it off, this festival. The spectacle takes place once every 20/25 years. The first one was in the year of 1797, the most recent one in 1999. The budget for the festival amounts to an unbelievable amount of 100 Million francs. There are 6’500 participants, 5’500 actors, 1’000 musicians, cows, goats, hoarses – it is massive. I don’ recall ever having seen anything so wondrously colorful and varied in my life. The actors are from the region and are amateurs. They wear bright costumes and perform with an unbelievable amount of passion and pride. The director of the festivity, Danielle Finzi Pasca, who was a clown at Circus Nock, directed the closing ceremony at the Olympics in Torino and Sochi. What he put together in Vevey with the ensemble was huge and unforgettable. What impressed me the most, were the participants who created something unique through countless hours of work. You can join the spectacle till the 11th of August. Otherwise in the year of 2040. The journey is worth it.

There were many other things to see, food stands everywhere, great! But unfortunately not enough seats. Thank god for the riverside walk where you could sit on a low wall. As a secret tip –  in the food corner for the actors there are enough seats and you’re welcome to join. The prices there are good too.

Not enough toilets – maybe there were enough but half of them were closed for unknown reasons. Maybe next time provide a smaller screen but more Toi/Toi’s.

My French is very basic. I’m ashamed of this fact but that doen’t change it. At the event it didn’t matter even if I didn’t understand everything, it was well rounded.

When the SBB (Schweizerische Bundesbahnen) provides additional delayed trains and they inform you via the megaphone in a terrible quality of tone, I wish, that they wouldn’t announce it only in French.

All of this is ‘whining’ of a high level. Everything worked out, everything was organized brilliantly. As a memory, my white trousers received some of the fresh, brown cow dung of the performing beauty. They too must have been slightly nervous. This souvenir will however vanish after the first wash. The images however, will remain in my memory for a long time.

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