What a great weekend we have had. This weekend was the Marché de Noel which is a huge 2 day bash that combines a large bazaar of Tadoussac artisans as well a few from Escoumins and Les Bergeronnes.
Friday was the set up in the morning. The whole thing took place at the L’Eauberge and the great main room was emptied and set with tables etc. then we did a major cleaning and decorating.
Saturday morning everyone arrived early and set up their tables. It was great fun and lots of interesting stuff for sale. One room was completely hand crafts and the bar was set up with those who were selling food – sausages (chocolate and poivre rose: raspberry/cumin – you had to taste to believe – wow); spaghetti sauce (Gibard); oils vinegars, teas etc (Bakery) and preserves and homemade breads and tourtiere).
The biggest excitement for the children , of course, was the arrival of Santa Claus. Guess what -he arrived at the Caisse (for those from out of Quebec that is the bank and it is on the main corner of the village) and rode up the hill on the back of a nicely decorated Lamarche tow truck!!. Everyone met at the appointed place and the fire, police and first responder personnel escorted Santa and the children up the hill to L’Eauberge. Santa led them into the little outside village set up for this purpose and then his chair was placed at a discreet distance so each child could have a private audience with Santa to share their wishes. The yard was beautifully decorated there was even an ice bar with frozen juice slushies for the kids and substantially more potent juices for the adult types!! There were marshmallow trees and a fire pit to roast them on. It was really very special – and this was only day 1.
On day 2 there was more of the same but the end of the day there was a closing party for all the volunteers and the artists. First there was a terrific choir made up of adults and children from Tadoussac to Longue Rive. The music was wonderful and it was a real singalong as well which was a lovely ending.
Then a less sedate party started in the bar. Children of the volunteers were allowed to attend and two local very well known musicians Eric Cyr (dark hair – rocker in summer and traditionalist in winter) and Raoul Hovington (grey hair) played traditional, foot stomping, hand clapping music for 2 hours straight. Some of the children were helping to keep the beat and Sean Thompson , who many of you know from marina was fantastic guitar accompanist. The place was rocking and the drink flowed. Alan and I were given what we suppose is the Tadoussac version of a Newfoundland screech – in and we were given a shot of what can only be translated as Beaver Balls shots. There was something floating in the bottle and I have no idea what it really was and when they tried to tell me I refused to listen!! We instantly needed a beer and a glass of wine to wash it down!! Oh man.
Another great community event to launch into the Christmas spirit. For us an amazing way to meet lots of people as we begin to get more and more into the community.
On the Saturday night Alan and I went to a local dinner dance that is sponsored by the local club for people 55 and older. There was an amazing dinner – cooked by the Chantmartin and throughout the evening dancing. Of course Alan and I were the only ones that no one knew so we were quite the object of interest. Everyone has been super friendly and again, as in most small communities these events are a wonderful mix of many generations. Alan sat beside a couple who knew his Dad very well and so they were thrilled. and so was Alan. I actually won a brunch at the Chantmartin for the next day and when we arrived there was a whole room of people who had been at the dance and they all started joking with us about staying up late and partying.
I imagine that it will quiet right down now. The constant thread of conversation amongst the women was “as soon as this weekend is over, I have got to get my own stuff done!!” I feel the same way. I was sewing all day today and need to get some baking done. The tree and decorations will be Saturday. The basement progresses. We told Michael that as of yesterday he could take a shower but could not yet pee as there is no toilet!!
We feel like our progress in the community has taken some big steps this weekend. Slow and steady wins the race.
Hope you are all well.