HALF a million visitors are expected this week at the 82nd Fête de Vendanges de Montmartre, which celebrates the working vineyard in the heart of Paris - and much more.
The Montmartre grape harvest festival continues until Sunday and brings the 18th arrondissement community together for a wide range of activities including exhibitions, workshops and food and wine sampling.
Traditional events include the grand defile parade through Montmartre on Saturday (15.00) followed by fireworks at the Sacré Coeur (21.45), and the closing night ball on Sunday evening (17.00-20.00), which is accompanied by an orchestra.
This year’s Clos Montmartre wine crop is a fruity rosé, named Cuvée de la Planète. One thousand collector bottles will be exclusively available from the dedicated stands, from which all the profits go to local charities.
The wine is at the heart of it all but this year’s festival was named Montmartre fête la planete in the lead up to the COP21 UN Climate Change conference at the end of the year which starts in November.
A Fête spokeswoman told Connexion: “The whole programme this year revolves around the environment. The firework show will represent the planet and nature, while the ball will include a musical tour around the world.
“There are events everywhere in the arrondissement, but it looks like it will be sunny this weekend, so hopefully a lot of activities will take place outside!”
Graffiti workshop – Saturday 12.00-18.00
Grand defile – Leaves 18th arrondissement mairie at 15.45 to finish at 18.00 at Place St Pierre
Closing night bal - Square Louise Michel, 17.00-20.00
The star guests this year are actress Mélanie Thierry and singer Raphael and they will participate in Saturday’s activities and launch the parade.
Vines have been a key part of Montmartre’s identity and commerce since 944. The vineyards of Paris all but disappeared in the 18th and 19th centuries due to disease and increasing urbanisation. However, in the 1930s, a group of artists asked the City of Paris’ permission to replant them, and the vineyard has been running ever since.
The Fête de Vendanges de Montmartre is on now and finishes on October 11. For more information and the full activity programme, visit the website fetedesvendangesdemontmartre.com
Top photo: Erwan Floc'h