Crazy village games

Les Gamineries des Aravis photoOn Friday night, La Clusaz hosted the inter-village games known as Les Gamineries des Aravis which involves participants from the local villages (La Clusaz, Le Grand Bornand, St. Jean de Sixt, Thônes and Manigod) as well as a team of tourists. As you can see from this photo, the event features It’s a Knockout-style games, with events such as this one with two team members trying to knock a team member off the other surfboard. Other events included:

  • blindfolded rollerbladers having to pick up two small, water-filled balloons and deliver them safely at the end of a go-cart style course (helped by a team member yelling which direction to rollerblade in);
  • dizzy contestants carrying glasses of wine (of course! it’s France) over to a barrel and successfully emptying the glasses into barrels (the majority fell over before getting to the wine glasses);
  • a trivia quiz with questions about the local area;
  • four team members with their right legs fixed to a plank of wood and their left legs fixed to another plank, navigating a course with bike ramps and corners; and,
  • tug-of-war in flippers, goggles and snorkels on a beach volleyball court.

Points were scored and teams cheered. A local school or group were selling home-made cake for a flat €1 per slice. The winning village holds the event the following year, unless it’s the hosting village, in which case the runners-up get to hold it. With this knowledge the locals were out in droves, wearing village colours. Le Grand Bornand were the winners in these stakes, with large numbers wearing matching pink Mexican hats and ponchos, and pink glow-sticks for after dark. They had air horns (annoyingly loud), a bass drum (a relief after the air horns) and cow bells (downright quiet compared with the air horns and bass drum). But did their solid presence help Le Grand Bornand win? Who won? It was the team who answered the question about the width of a local bird’s wing span. Which team was that? The tourists. The tourists beat the locals at their own game! However, the games must be held in the Aravis valley, so the team who came second were nominated to hold the games next year. Who was that? La Clusaz. But La Clusaz held the games this year which means they can’t hold them again next year. So, the team who came third were nominated to hold the games next year. Who was that? Manigod. So, while the announcer confused us all by announcing Manigod as the ‘winners’ in third place, the supporters cheered and made their way to the bar. The tourists probably went home with a slice of €1 cake.


I'm a technical author, journalist and writer from Australia who has been living in Europe since 2000 and exploring the world from there. My passions are writing, snow sports and travel.

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4 comments on “Crazy village games
  1. Mister Moo says:

    April, actually it’s Manigod who came third 😉
    with the rain at the end of game, it’s true that it was a big big mess!!

  2. April says:

    Oops! It was lots of fun, but yes, confusing. Thanks for letting me know Mr Moo. Apologies to Manigod for taking them out of the glory of first…errr…third…um….prize-winning place.

  3. If you fancy some funky village antics, there will be a Tractor Pulling contest close to Nyon (near where I live) next weekend (I think it’s August 21st to 23rd. Rippling Swiss muscles, anyone? Personally, I’ll probably pass as the rippling muscles will invariably come with bulging eyes, straining expressions, blobbering blubber, vivid bum cleavage and buckets of sweat. But to each their own fromage!

  4. April says:

    That sounds fantastic, Francesca! There’s a chance we’ll be passing through the Jura on Sunday, but probably too late to catch the fun. I’ll let you know if that changes and we’re there earlier. Otherwise, enjoy all those rippling Swiss muscles with the added, erm, extras!

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About me

Wendy Hollands writer in Annecy, France

I'm an experienced technical writer based in the French Alps. I enjoy learning French language nuances, winter sports and travel. Drop by, my other site.

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