Driving home from visiting my friend in Reims on Saturday, I saw a sign for the "10ème American Show Champenois" (that last word refers to the Champagne region). I would have stopped to check it out on the spot, but both boys were sleeping, and you know what they say about sleeping kids.
So instead, we went there after church on Sunday. To our dismay, it cost Frédéric and me 8 € apiece just to get in, AND they wouldn't let card(passport)-carrying Americans in for free. Hmph. Frédéric did find the director of the event and mentioned that that would have been a nice gesture. Apparently in the 10 years they have been doing this, they have never had another American come, at least that they know of. So next year we'll be calling ahead to get this kink worked out.
One of the main attractions was the American cars and motorcycles show.
Now this is what I call a REAL American car. Hahahahaha. Apparently the requirements to get into the car show are pretty lax.
Frédéric was wondering if we could have displayed our Chrysler Neon if we still had it. Perhaps that would have gotten us in for free. Our other idea was to set up a photo opportunity -- "Get your picture taken with a REAL AMERICAN!" -- to pay for our tickets, but we weren't sure how to go about setting that up on short notice. Maybe next year.
You could buy all sorts of authentic American wares, like cowboy boots.
Or license plates.
Leather clothes, T-shirts, turquoise jewelry, pocketknives. Look at all those American flags! Who knew the French were so fond of all things American?! The next time you hear someone say that the French hate Americans, you just tell them about the hundreds of French people visiting the American Show in Fismes. Many were even wearing cowboy hats or other American-style clothes.
They had a World War II army camp set up.
And an Indian village.
And they had bands playing country music while we were there; complete with country line dancing.
All in all, not a bad way to spend an afternoon. Frédéric's big gripe was that the food stands were selling things like Belgian waffles and French crêpes instead of American food. Not a funnel cake or snowcone to be found, and nary a hint of Dr Pepper... hm, perhaps we should help organize next year. Uncle Curtis, maybe you can come set up a Coke/Dr Pepper concession for us, what do you think?