Watch me risk life and limb (and have some fun) at the Fête de Genève

Every summer for two weeks, Geneva hosts a festival (“fête”, en français!) down on the lake in the heart of the city. Anyone who has ever been to a state fair can imagine what there is to see and do at the Fête de Genève, but I figured it would still be fun to go down and experience it for myself. (I discovered that it had many of the same attractions as my home state of Minnesota’s State Fair, but without the cattle, goat, pig, and horse barns, so this festival features a slightly better aroma than its Minnesota counterpart. I couldn’t find any food items served on a stick, either.)

I took a few pictures and shot a couple videos to offer a glimpse into Geneva’s annual festival. I planned to focus mainly on the festivals main attractions: it’s music, its rides, and its fireworks display – and I’ll get to all those momentarily, but first, check this photo out.

Mimes defying gravity!

Amazing, huh?

These “gravity defying mimes” are all the rage over here. We saw a bunch of them in Dublin and London, too. They all have their own unique theme (although I’m not sure exactly who these dudes are supposed to be…) but the gimmick is the same everywhere. If you drop a coin into their pot (which I didn’t) they move around a little bit for a few seconds. Anyway, I do think it looks pretty cool! I wonder when this performance art form will find its way to the U.S.?

Not to diminish the brilliance of gravity defying mimes, but as I said, I am more drawn to the more traditional festival attractions: music, rides, and fireworks. Moving along, I happened upon the festival’s main music stage and settled in to listen to a band called Giufà. They were pretty good, and I even shot some video that I fully intended to include on this post. But then I changed my mind.


The guys were pretty good. They are called Giufà, from Sicily

When did I change my mind and not include a video of Giufà? When I came upon this understated quintet, from Krakow, Poland. Can these guys rock some “Hey Jude” or what??

Then I came upon this guy. He had drawn quite a crowd. He’s playing a pan flute (or “zampoña”) along with some bamboo recorders and some sort of bird whistle thingamajig. So because I don’t expect you to spend (waste?) too much time on this blog, I decided that the Giufà video didn’t make the cut.

The Fête de Genève also features a variety of carnival rides, and even though I am not typically a huge fan, I was immediately intrigued with the idea of riding this one.

Swing ride high above Geneva!

Yep, I coughed up the 10 francs to ride this thing! (see video, below)

I’ll be honest, I decided to ride it solely for the purpose of recording a video, and posting it here. I figured it was worth getting a little sick to be able to get a video of me riding this thing. In the end, I did just fine, and it was actually quite a thrill. [Note: the camera work suffers from the fact that I was really careful not to drop my phone, so deal with it.]

Finally, no festival is complete without an ass-kicking fireworks display, and the Fête de Genève did not disappoint. I am including two relatively short videos of the fireworks. The first I shot from our back balcony, just to be able to say “Isn’t it cool that we have a balcony where you can watch fireworks from?!” Here’s that video.

The final video violates a rule to which I typically adhere, and that’s to not post someone else’s video. I am making an exception here, because the video is short, and I think this is one of the better “Grand Finales” I have ever witnessed. This video was shot by someone right down on he Lake. Enjoy.

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