10 Fantastic Reasons to Attend Provence’s Cherry Festival

Addicted to Cherries - Marché de la Cerise 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.

Cherry Festival - Marché de la Cerise - La Roque d'Anthéro - Tatting

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:Cherry Festival - Marché de la Cerise - La Roque d'Anthéro - Folk Dancers

      1. Cherries !!!  Lots and lots of cherries… Make a Cherry Clafoutis when you get home (and call me).
      2. Old time cars, trucks and motorcycles sponsored by Chevrons Tractions Lubéron
      3. Mini farm, clog carving, tatting, spinning and wool dyeing with the “Les Jupons Jardiniers” traditional crafts.
      4. Saint Tropez Lou Rampeu Provençal Folk Dancers in traditional dress (including wooden clogs).
      5. « Le Quillé » Artisan Gelato, or a drink at the «Brasserie Le Temps des Cerises »
      6. Make a free basket with “Les Chemins de l’Osier
      7. Taste an authentic Pistou Soup (Minestrone soup with pesto), meal just 19€. Heineken 1€50!
      8. Lively and fun rural parade – you’ll feel like you went back in time!
      9. Enjoy the amazing energy and music of the “Passo Carriéro” and “Swing ‘n Sardine” groups.
      10. Visit the quaint village and nearby cultural sites.

  1. 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 AgendaThe crowd waits - Cherry Festival - Marché de la Cerise - La Roque d'Anthéro

  2. 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.Provences Cherry Festival - La Roque d'Anthéron - Traditional Dance

    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.

    Abbaye Silvacane - Provences Cherry Festival - La Roque d'Anthéron

    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

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  13 comments for “10 Fantastic Reasons to Attend Provence’s Cherry Festival

  1. July 31, 2017 at 4:54 pm

    Oh, those fresh cherries look beautiful! And it’s not often you find a festival where so many of the townspeople are involved and enjoying it so much. Will definitely attend this festival if ever I’m in the area at the right time of year.

    • August 7, 2017 at 8:06 am

      I know! So authentic, it’s the real deal, I just loved it…

  2. July 12, 2017 at 5:13 am

    We’re big fans of local festivals like this and try and get to as many as possible. Perhaps next year we’ll add this one to our list as cherries are a definite favourite too (though bizarrely I can’t stand clafoutis!!!!) Thanks for linking up to #AllAboutFrance

  3. annette @afrenchcollection
    July 11, 2017 at 2:59 am

    Look at the effort everyone goes to with their costumes, decorations and festivities, I am so impressed. It looks a very impressive festival with participants proud of their heritage and regional produce. #AllAboutFrance

    • July 11, 2017 at 10:44 am

      They spend quite a bit of time creating the costumes and making sure they are as authentic as possible. I love that some of them even have hand carved clogs!

  4. Wherejogoes
    July 10, 2017 at 9:51 am

    What a charming, authentic festival – I love that they bless the cherries! Your photos sum up for me the traditions of the South of France and what a beautiful region it is. I think I’d avoid the bull run though! #AllAboutFrance

    • July 11, 2017 at 1:33 am

      It really is a great festival. The bull isn’t so dangerous, as long as you stay behind the barriers. Unfortunately, people do get regularly hurt chasing those bulls – not something I’m EVER going to attempt!

  5. July 6, 2017 at 10:29 am

    I’d say the main reason I’d love this festival is because cherries are so nice to photograph! And to eat, obviously. I had never heard of this festival or of Pistou soup, but that sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing the program too, it actually surprised me they even had a website 😉

    • July 11, 2017 at 1:34 am

      Tasty tidbits for sure! LOL – I forgot to hang a couple of my ears and take a photo…

  6. July 6, 2017 at 9:04 am

    We love cherries in our house! This would be on our list! #allaboutfrance

    • July 11, 2017 at 1:35 am

      Definitely try to check it out if you are ever in the area. Lots of fun for sure and the little ones really love it!

  7. emilycommander
    July 6, 2017 at 2:49 am

    An actual festival for cherries! Wow! I am totally addicted to clafoutis, and already dreading the moment when cherries are no longer in season. Perhaps next year I will have to go to the festival. #AllAboutFrance

    • July 11, 2017 at 1:37 am

      If only I actually had an oven, I would be making Clafoutis every day! Strange that some apartments don’t have ovens, never entered my mind to check if there was one or not!

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