Bienvenue Automne


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Beinvenue Automne - Welcome Autumn

     Paris is a city of neighborhoods, some of which are almost like villages.  Every neighborhood has its own mayor and has activities, agendas, markets and events, some coinciding with the city or nation, but often unique and within their own calendar.  There is seldom a lack of things to do.  You'll run out of energy before you run out of opportunities. 
     One major difference you'll notice in late October is not what you see,  but what you don't see.  It's a bit of a shock to see such little notice of Halloween.  The celebration of Halloween is very much an American and British event.  The French have obviously seen American movies with depictions of Halloween, but most of them don't realize that it's such a popular and large event in the United States, and seems to be growing larger in the last few years.  The French seem to believe that it is something we did many years ago.  Parisians toyed with the idea of Halloween for a few years.  It appeard to be growing in popularity a few years ago, but since then I have noticed it slowly disappearing.  There will be a few decorations here and there, but not too many big parties and no major festivities.  Naturally there are expats Americans living in Paris who hold Halloween parties, but the one true exception to the rule is Disneyland-Paris.  Disney does a fantastic job of recognizing Halloween.  From the 1st of October till early November, Disneyland-Paris pulls out all the stops and celebrates Halloween well enough to make Ol' Walt Proud.  Even your favorite Disney characters are in costume.  Yes, a costumed mascot wearing a costume.  Leave it to Disney to pull-off such an idea.   So if you need a bit of Halloween to make you feel like the season is complete, then take the RER A-Train from Paris and in 35 minutes you will be celebrating ghosts and goblins with Mickey and Minnie.
    Besides the routine fairs, expo's, salons and markets that spring-up throughout the year in Paris, as well as rural and metropolitan France, there is the annual Autumn Festival of Paris that has been held for 40 years. The Festival D' Automne is a celebration and introductory party for theater, music, dance, the visual arts and film.
The festival has grown in size and reputation over the years and has an extremely well rounded schedule of exhibits, shows and concerts. 
     As in any large city around the world, Paris has several very large venues for live concerts and orchestral events.  Rock, Pop, Rap, Country, Jazz, Blues, and even Operatic and Classical concerts come to Paris during the year.  Autumn however, brings the festival and introduces artists and musicians about whom you may have otherwise never known. It also comes when the weather is cooler, making it much more comfortable to attend concerts or queue-up to see an exibition.  
     There are so many fun, creative and educational things to do in and around Paris.  It's never a question of finding something to do.  The problem is choosing between them when you are in France for only a short period of time.  Luckily for us, Paris isn't going anywhere. So, if you miss something this year, you can always see it when it returns next fall.  I know that sounded like you can just grab your bags and go to Paris every year.  Well, you can - or you should.   Believe me, it's worth it, and fall is as good a time as any.  If the festival can come each year, so can we.



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