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Les rencontres burlesques

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Take advantage of one’s name to make a name for oneself !

The idea is original and arose in a bastide on the outskirts of Toulouse, Saint-Lys, where a hamlet has the unusual name of Minjocèbos, which means "eat onions" in Occitan.

Already the place had long been the home of Catinou and Jacouti, two figures in the popular tradition of burlesque theatre created through the imagination of the journalist and writer Charles Mouly. Once a year the mayors of communes with evocative names: Escanecrabe, Rebirechioulet, Cassaniouze, Bourgougnague, Clochemerle… assembled there for a country fête.

In 2003 Patrick Lasseube, then the mayor of Saint-Lys, had the idea of giving national impact to this event by inviting the communes of France with comic or catchy names to get together to "take advantage of one’s name to make a name for oneself!" as the slogan created for the occasion put it.

Various communes responded to the appeal at that time and Cocumont saw the opportunity to publicise its name and its produce. Nine communes met for the first fête under the market hall of Saint-Lys in 2003, each bringing its local own local cultural and gastronomic specialities. In view of the pleasure of the first participants in this gathering, more were demanded and a national association of the communes of France with comic or catchy names was created.

Patrick Lasseube, mayor of Saint-Lys, became the president, Jean-Michel Guérineau, mayor of Beaufou in the Vendée, the secretary and Joseph Lorenzon, mayor of Cocumont, the treasurer. The nine original communes have since been joined in the association by more than 40. The defining characteristic of these communes is above all their rural nature.

A fine adventure then began, imbued with conviviality, human warmth and the cultural and gastronomic encounter of a France characterised by a sense of self-mockery and the pleasure of meeting together in turn in one of these villages each year.

After the first gathering of the association in Saint-Lys in 2003, Beaufou in the Vendée hosted the second meeting in 2004 with a well-organised fête whose success continued and grew, already attracting the national and even international media in search of unusual subjects.

Cocumont hosted the third meeting

In 2005, our commune, Cocumont, with exceptional enthusiasm, undertook the organisation of the third meeting. A team of about a hundred volunteers worked for months to ensure the success of this huge popular fête on the 29th, 30th and 31st of July.

Comedy shows, a market and buffet of local produce, crafts, various events, guided visits, a parade of associations, a musical firework display, folklore groups, bands, a meal… the ambiance presented a strong image of our Gascon identity. Twenty-five communes with comic names from throughout France set up their stands, attracting some 5000 people over the period which remains a unique moment in the life of Cocumont.

The village had taken full advantage of the occasion to make use of its name in order to promote its wines, its produce and the Val de Garonne region in general. For this third gathering the media showed growing interest; the press, television, internet…., a success which would not be diminished in the following years.

Since then Cocumont never misses the opportunity to participate in the annual gatherings with a strong delegation (about fifty people) and a stand recognised as one of the most striking. In 2006, the France of comic names met at Arnac-la-Poste in the Haute-Vienne, in 2007 at Vaux-en-Beaujolais alias Clochemerle in the Rhône, in 2008 at Vatan in the Indre, in 2009 at Bouzillé in the Maine & Loire, in 2010 at Cassaniouze in the Cantal, in 2011 at Corps-Nuds in Ille-et-Vilaine, in 2012 at Andouillé in the Mayenne, in 2013 at Vinsobres in the Drôme.

The rendez-vous for 2014 is planned for Mariol in the Allier on 12th and 13th July.

The list continues to grow year by year, thus creating a link of friendship between these communes with unusual names enabling them to emerge from anonymity, to promote their architectural heritage, their tourist attractions and their local produce through the burlesque which binds them together without either vulgarity or coarseness as Patrick Lasseube, the instigator of this great travelling popular fête, never ceases to stress.

To see video extracts of the meetings :     Bouzillé 2009  Cassaniouze 2010  Corps-Nuds 2011  Andouillé 2012  Vinsobres 2013
Internet Site for the 12th meeting : Mariol 2014

You are here: AN AREA TO DISCOVER Les rencontres burlesques (gatherings of the association of communes with comic names)