La Clusaz has all sorts of festivals in summer and winter, but now that school holidays are over, today’s fair was all about the locals. The Foire de la Croix is a chance for the local farmers to catch up and socialise (err, drink lots of beer) with one another, and their smiling faces show that they enjoy every minute of it. One Sunday every year, the farmers celebrate the cows’ return to town from the higher pastures (while the cows no doubt despair just as soon as they realise that they’re back in sheds for winter). They display their best Abondance cows and hold a competition for the best Reblochon cheese. The cows are plentiful, and each one is paraded while the MC talks about her special qualities. This is the La Clusaz equivalent of the Grammy awards.
Just last week, those mountains in the background — the Aravis chain — were covered with fresh snow. Recent warm weather has melted it away and provided a hot, sunny day for the farmers to enjoy.
But it’s not all social. Farmers can also buy new bells for their cows, as pictured, along with farming equipment between talking shop with other farmers.
The fair is still running as I type this, with the awards from the day’s events running into the evening. Some farmers will no doubt be milking their cows with very sore heads tomorrow. Let’s just hope none of them wake up with a giant bell around their neck.