The Village Fete
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It is odd that such an English institution should bear a French tag: the curious may wonder why fete and not our equivalent feast? Perhaps because at the fete there is not necessarily a feast, though some like Gloucestershire’s Cranham Feast and the Kingsteignton Ram Roast are focused on just such activities. Maybe the rather posher sounding French term appeals more to the type of intimidating ladies who inevitably organise such dos.
P.G. Wodehouse ’s Lord Emsworth rightly lived in perpetual fear of having to open such occasions, that being a thankless and surely pointless task. The top hat he dreaded being forced to wear is no longer to be seen; but brightly-buttoned blazers, some with sudden stripes, appear mysteriously for the day only; and garden-party hats are much in evidence.
A proper village fete should have certain key features including a beer tent or a pub adjacent to the green on which it is held; the selection, gossiped about for a month afterwards, of a beauty queen or bouncing baby (our Glynnis is far prettier); a Vicar with tombstone front teeth smiling through the pain; bobbing for apples or some other game where children can get soaked and/or dishevelled; a tombola; flower- and produce-stalls where you will find the world’s best lemon curd; and at least one torrential downpour. They should be supported whole-heartedly or civilisation is doomed.

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