Deux Sèvres is nicknamed the “Terre de Festivals” because from May to September they are almost continuous, with a few starting in March and one or two in October. Some are huge and happen every year, some are small affairs put on by a town or village. Then there are one-offs like the stunt-driving weekend in Sept 2015!
If you enjoy live music then there is something for every taste. Jazz is very popular. There are choirs and orchestras and smaller groups performing classical music. There are blues and folk festivals and one nearby specializes in music from different parts of the world.
Dance, storytelling, street theatre and circus skills are also common themes. Art, sculpture, photography and film each have their own festivals.
One of the biggest is FLIP. This is an international games festival in Parthenay which lasts for a week in early July. A large part of the town is closed off and over 3000 games set up for people to try. There are many different sections with truly something for everyone. You can join in modern team games, try medieval challenges, play board and card games (hundreds of them from the already published, to brand-new ones being tried out by their designers) or be taught basic circus skills. The streets all have games set out, so as you wander along you can stop and play or watch others test their skill. Every morning the section for children is open. This has sand and water play areas for the youngest but tents full of other activities for older children. We spent over an hour in the construction area making wooden ships, planes, boats, castles. The children all enjoyed it (you could follow plans to build something pictured or design your own) but there were some very focused adults in there designing magnificent galleons and spaceships!! The most amazing thing about this festival is that it is completely FREE!
The Highland Games held in June at nearby Bressuire is a biannual 2 day display of Scottish muscle and accompanying hospitality! Great fun!
Currently there are many displays and activities commemorating the centenary of events in the First World War.