Monday, 16 July 2018

French Festival

A month ago when Skip, Scooter, and I attempted to attend a Civil War Reenactment (we discovered it had been cancelled when we got there), Skip picked up a tourist brochure in Cape Vincent NY. When we got home, we actually read it and noted that there was going to be a French Festival there in mid-July. Always up for an adventure, we decided to revisit the area and check out the French Festival.

We hate traffic so decided to head eastward on Friday morning. We got to Kingston in time to take the 12:30 ferry to Wolfe Island then on the other side of the island, the ferry to Cape Vincent.

The ferry from Kingston holds almost 60 cars. The ferry to Cape Vincent would hold 8 or 9 cars max. We were 7th (and last) in line for the ferry so we got to drive off first.
Of course, we had to take a selfie. Yes, we're 'those kind' of people. LOL. It's only a 10 minute ferry ride.
We were there by 1:30pm.

The town was getting ready for the festival which was to begin the next day. People had already put out their lawn chairs along the main street to get a prime parade-watching spot. I'd never seen that done a day ahead before.

After lunch, we drove the 25 minutes to Watertown and checked into our lodgings then went for Mexican food. It was possibly the worst Mexican meal I'd ever had. The meat in the taco had so much salt in it, neither Skip nor I could eat it. My chalupa had a slurry of beans with a sprinkling of lettuce and tomato. Very disappointing. We have eaten there a couple of times before but won't be eating there again.

After supper we did a bit of shopping. I found a half price sale of OTT lights at JoAnn Fabrics so picked up a magnifying desk lamp for my stitching.

The next morning we headed back to Cape Vincent for the Festival. We saw the opening ceremonies where all the dignitaries were presented on the raised stage on the main street. The French, Canadian, and US national anthems were sung by soloists on the stage. I sang O! Canada in French for the occasion.
That's right. Napoleon was right there on the stage.
This woman also dressed in period costume.
There were many, many vendors all around the main block of the town as well as in the Village Green.

This vendor was selling coonskin caps and animal traps decorated with a carved insert.
This is one alleyway across the Village Green.
The Village of Cape Vincent only has a population of about 725 people but swelled to several thousand for this weekend.
Skip and I parked on a street facing outwards from the downtown and out from the parade route. That way, we'd have a quick getaway after the parade was over. We also decided to stand near the beginning of the parade route so the parade would still be going on when we beetled out of town.

We found a nice, shady spot on Lake Street, a residential street, in the second block of the parade route.
Shortly after 2pm the parade started. Right near the beginning, Napoleon rode by.

There were many, floats, band, cars, trucks, etc. There was only one team of horses.
Usually horses are at the end of the parade so others don't have to walk through their 'deposits'. However they had that covered with a couple of townsfolk dressed as clowns on 'Poop Patrol'.
There were at least 3 pipe bands. One of them was from Belleville ON, another was a local fire and police band. I don't remember where this band came from.
This guy was on a hoverboard tossing candy at kids along the route. The candy of choice that was being distributed seemed to be tiny Tootsie Rolls. Although there were children on either side of us, I did manage to score a couple of them.
The last 'float' was the dance band that performed on the main street band stand until about 1:30pm. Their float was a pontoon boat - a very clever idea for the small combo as there was already built-in seating.
We then drove to Rochester where we planned to do some more shopping. At Wegmans (grocery store), we noted this flyer on a bulletin board. Rats! We'll miss this one as we have plans next weekend. But we'll certainly keep it in mind for next year.

A thousand participants in two battles daily? It doesn't get much better than this.
Then in August the Genesee County Village & Museum is having a Wilder Weekend where folks can participate in fun activities based on 'Little House on the Prairie'. This year celebrity guests will be Wendi and Brenda Turnbaugh who played young Grace Ingalls in the TV series.
Our hotel in Rochester was a disappointment. IT DIDN'T HAVE WIFI and was in a restaurant-barren area. Instead of staying a second night, we checked out the next morning and spent the night in Buffalo where this morning, we did the last bit of shopping and drove home.

I was so tired each evening I didn't stitch a single stitch the entire time I was away. I'm looking forward to getting back to stitching my 15-sided Dans Le Jardin biscornu.

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