It seems there’s some kind of festival every weekend somewhere near us. This past Sunday we drove over to Châteauneuf-Grasse (about 11 miles from Vence) for the annual Fête de la Courge (Squash Festival). Lots of people, lots of fun. Tons of food, crafts and more.
[more info after photo gallery]
Châteauneuf-Grasse is a small village here in the Alpes-Maritimes with a population of about 3,400. About 13 miles northeast of Cannes it’s on the road between Vence and Grasse. A short little drive for us. We heard about the festival on Facebook and so decided to drive over on Sunday afternoon and check it out.
The main road into town was closed down and cars were being diverted to a make-shift parking lot in a big field. A small bus was set up to shuttle people back and forth to the festival, but it really wasn’t much of a walk at all. In town the main square (well, really a roundabout) was lined with booths and tables. Everything you would want at a small festival like this was there. Lots of food. Everything from pâtiseries and sweets to cheese to meats to fruits and vegetables. Of course, being a festival for squash there was lots of that represented as well. Crafts of every kind. One particularly interesting booth was filled with dried gourds that had been hollowed out, carved with all kinds of different shapes and designs and then fitted with lightbulbs to form really interesting lamps and lights. There was lots of hand made jewelry, soaps, toys, etc.
Everyone seemed to be having a great time. A small four piece band playing instruments created from gourds was performing off and on. Children were playing everywhere. Carole and I spent a couple of hours roaming around trying to take in everything. Of course, we had to buy some things! I bought a bottle of fresh grape juice (which was delicious) and some Beaufort Été cheese (one of my favorites). I will say though, the cheese cost about twice as much as I am used to paying for it at our local E.Leclerc. Normally I pay around 25€ for a kilo, here it was 47€. Now, that’s a big difference in price and since I wasn’t buying a whole lot I decided to see if it was worth it. The cheese was good, no doubt about that, but it wasn’t worth twice as much. I have found this to be the case at many festivals and fêtes, that cheese and other food items are priced higher than you can find them in the stores. I guess based on the principle that they are coming to you more direct and therefore should be fresher and better. I’m not sure the average person like me really notices the difference that much, at least not enough to justify the difference in price. Carole bought a cloth bag to save plastic bags in and a flower made from metal and ceramic. We both bought a few little treats, some chocolates and some dried fruits.
Though it had been raining during the morning the weather cooperated during the afternoon while we were there. We’ll be back next year for sure.