Every year on Whitsunday, the streets of Saint-Geniès-de-Fontedit are turned upside down. During ‘La Foire des Grenouilles’ festival, the centre of this lovely circular village becomes the stage of street theatre, concerts, art and much more. And all the performances are free. That’s right! It doesn’t cost a thing. As in zilch, zero, nada.
Follow the arrows
La Foire des Grenouilles is a well-known event in the Hérault region that attracts a big crowd. Every other day of the year, Saint-Geniès-de-Fontedit is a rather sleepy village located in the hinterland of Béziers. Not during this street theatre festival though! Together with friends and a bunch of kids of all ages, our happy family set off to join the fun. We headed straight to the Information Centre in the middle of the village, where we got the conveniently set up program for the day. A colour marked each performance, which corresponded to a street arrow painted in the same colour. You just had to follow the right arrow to get to the performance you wanted to see.
The theatre shows started in the afternoon from 14h00 in the different squares and along the streets. We went on an expedition through the small alleyways filled with charming houses to find our performances. Along the way, we encountered all sorts of art and objects and spontaneous outbursts of music and parades. We also passed a market with local food and products and ‘Le Coin des Enfants’, the kid’s corner with giant wooden and old-school games. No lingering around though, as we came for the theatre.
What I love about La Foire des Grenouilles is that all the performances include interactions with the audience. Some shows combined circus with slapstick; others played music and asked to sing along. However, all of the 13 theatre companies brought a big smile to the little ones’ faces. And the grown-ups’ too. At the Place de Gaulle, the party went on until late into the night. While enjoying a drink and a bite, you can listen to and dance to the final concert of the festival. Did I already mention that all the performances are free??? We can’t wait till next year’s edition!