There are people in Oyonnax! – Or, La Fete de l`Hiver

Where I`m living now, Oyonnax, …isnt the liveliest of places. Its a smaller town with a population of about 23,000 people. There are a few bars and restaurants and shops, but for the most part its a quiet town nestled in the Jura Mountains. The other assistants and I have figured out that we need to head to Bourg-en-Bresse or Lyon for our entertainment…and we were absolutely blown away by the local winter festival.

We weren`r really expecting a whole lot of excitement, because of the small population and low-key atmosphere. Beginning in mid-November we had begun seeing signs for the Fete de l`Hiver, or Winter Festival, the weekend before our Christmas holidays started. From what we could gather from the advertisements, there would be music, a small Christmas market, and fireworks to commemorate the winter holiday season, so we went into centre-ville on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.

It was nothing, at all, like we expected.

Oh, there were fireworks, a Christmas market, and music. But what we weren`t expecting was the giant mechanical ostrich, among other things. It also turned out that every single person in Oyonnax turns up for this festival. Seriously, I had no idea there even were that many people in Oyonnax. Take a look…


The music


students fundraising for a trip to New  York


I don`t have any idea.




2 other assistants and I


I told you there was a giant mechanical ostrich! The most popular attraction of the festival, by far.


So. Confused.


This guy would ride through the streets on a motorbike and then get up and dance


apparently every single resident of Oyonnax, and then some



these guys also juggled fire. Sorry no photos.


the main square


4 out of 5 language assistants- 2 Americans, 1 Spanish, 1 Italian

Have you ever been to a local festival in France? Any explanation for this? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

3 thoughts on “There are people in Oyonnax! – Or, La Fete de l`Hiver

  1. Douglas McKee says:

    Absolutely incredible Natty ! Do they borrow the mechanical floats from elsewhere…say Lyon? The wounded hairy guy was the best ! Your M’ma

    Sent from my iPad

    Liked by 1 person

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