The clichés and hyperbole you will hear about this Fêtes are all true:
“Once in a lifetime event” – it is, for it occurs only every quarter of a century.
” A cast of thousands” – indeed more than true, as since 10 years, over 5000 actors, singers, dancers, performers and volunteers have been working under the guidance of its creator and director, Daniele Finzi Pasca (along with his deceased wife, Julie Hamelin Finzi), on this 12th edition, which comes 222 years after the original one.
This Fête celebrates the eternal cycle of wine growing, and especially honors the Confrérie des Vignerons. It is not only a grand spectacle of some two and a half hours with its various tableaus representing the life in the vineyards and beyond, but also the colorful and warm ambiance of the town of Vevey, which has given itself wholeheartedly to the celebration of this region’s pride, so well put in the saying in one of its many charming restaurants constructed for the occasion:
“Le vin c’est la Poésie en bouteille”.
If you go, make sure you get there some hours before, so you can partake of the lake, the various parades, the many restaurants and bars which have mushroomed for the occasion, and the costumed performers that mingle with the merry crowds.
Tickets can be purchased on line and cost between 79 to 359 CHF depending on the category.
The arena, which has been erected on the famous Marché de Vevey, smack in the middle of town, is gigantic. It has to be, for the various tableaus in the spectacle include huge screens, light shows and massive movements of multiple actors, choirs, musicians, dancers, and livestock, sometimes a bit too mishmash. It all starts with little curious Julie and her wise grandfather and ends with the wonderful grand finale on a field of idyllic Swiss pastures and flowers, with hundreds of cows, goats, horse-drawn carriages and even multiple marriages and wedding cakes. You’re getting what you paid for!