Addicted to Cherries? Me Too…
Cherry season is always a time that I wait for with great anticipation. All those lovely little red spheres of delicious sweet tastyness have me salivating in anticipation as the season gets going. Much to my delight, we are smack in the middle of cherry season here in Provence, and a Cherry Festival. And in case you hadn’t noticed, any reason (even cherries) is a good reason for a festival as far as the French are concerned!
The Cherry Festival is held in “La Roque d’Anthéron”, a sleepy little village in the back country of Provence about 25km from Aix-en-Provence. Across the Durance River to the north and a mere 15 minutes by car is the well-known Luberon National Park – scattered with lovely little hilltop villages.
If you are looking for authentic, this is it! In fact, it’s so authentic that although everyone is more than welcome, I don’t think the organizers care all that much if outsiders actually come or not. This event is first and foremost for the villagers – tourism is an afterthought at best. No signage outside the village to help you find the event, as it’s assumed you know your way around town. A tip from GGG > as village centers are usually built around the church square, just look for church towers rising above the rooftops to indicate the center and heartbeat of any village.
10 fantastic reasons to put the Cherry Festival on your list:
- Cherries !!! Lots and lots of cherries… Make a Cherry Clafoutis when you get home (and call me).
- Old time cars, trucks and motorcycles sponsored by Chevrons Tractions Lubéron
- Mini farm, clog carving, tatting, spinning and wool dyeing with the “Les Jupons Jardiniers” traditional crafts.
- Saint Tropez Lou Rampeu Provençal Folk Dancers in traditional dress (including wooden clogs).
- « Le Quillé » Artisan Gelato, or a drink at the «Brasserie Le Temps des Cerises »
- Make a free basket with “Les Chemins de l’Osier”
- Taste an authentic Pistou Soup (Minestrone soup with pesto), meal just 19€. Heineken 1€50!
- Lively and fun rural parade – you’ll feel like you went back in time!
- Enjoy the amazing energy and music of the “Passo Carriéro” and “Swing ‘n Sardine” groups.
- Visit the quaint village and nearby cultural sites.
- I especially loved the obvious fun everyone was having! A genuine good time – don’t miss it! The parade happens on the Cours Foch, and the participants are as generous as they are enthusiastic circling the main drag three times so everyone gets a good look.
Cherry Festival Agenda
- Annoyingly, the website does not put out the agenda for the day, so here’s the general idea:
- 9h30 Market stands open
- 10h45 Blessing of the cherries (yes, for real!)
- 11h15 Abrivado (bull run)
- 12H30 Typical Provençal meal of Pistou Soupe, salad, cheese, and a cherry dessert! (19€) Reserve at the tourist office.
- 16 H Grande Parade with folk dancers, old cars, trucks and motorcycles, donkey driven carts.
If you have time after your visit to the Cherry Festival, make sure to also stop by l’Abbaye de Silvacane (doors close 17h). The International Piano festival draws thousands and takes place in August in the nearby Château de Florans, L’Abbaye de Silvacane, and other seductive locations around Provence.
Baskets and baskets of deep red sweet cherries, cherry tarts and desserts, folkloric costumes, crafts of yesterday, music…what’s not to love?
Happy (cherrylicious) Travels,
-Girl Gone Gallic