Paris gets taste of rural life with farm parade

Source: The Local

Paris gets taste of rural life with farm parade

A farmer looks after his cattle on Friday, the eve of the opening of the International Agriculture Fair at the Porte de Versailles exhibition centre in Paris. Photo: Ludovic MARIN / AFP

French rural life came to the capital Paris on Friday when cows, sheep and other livestock were paraded through a Paris neighbourhood to mark the start of an annual agricultural fair.Farmers paraded around 50 animals, some wearing colourful traditional headgear and floral decorations, through the Buttes-Chaumont park in northeast Paris before the opening of the International Agriculture Show.  

Parkgoers stood and watched as herds of sheep trotted along pathways besides the park’s lake while farmers led brown and white mottled cows on ropes. Some animals got an accompanying accordion tune. 

Four cheese producers were also on hand to give the hundred or so assembled city slickers a taste of their fare. “In Paris, we don’t often see cows. My three girls are really happy to see them up close,” Cecile Lassale, a 38-year-old teacher, who brought her children, told AFP. 

President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to visit the agricultural fair over the weekend.  The show, held from February 23 to March 3 at Paris Expo Porte de Versailles has as its theme “Men, Women and Their Expertise.”  

Paris suburbs already see some farmlife. Each month, shepherds from an urban farming project in Aubervilliers, just north of Paris, release a herd from an enclosure in a park for a wander in the streets. 

The sheep pace across zebra crossings, past cafes and petrol stations, stopping to graze at the base of graffitied public apartment blocks.

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