Rouen – Events – Fete du Ventre – Festival of the Stomach of Rouen
Once a year, mid October, Rouen closes its city centre during a weekend and holds the “Fete du Ventre et de la Gastronomie Normande” festival. The best translation would be “Festival of the Stomach and Normandy Gastronomy“, meaning food, but it’s more than that. It’s also the “stomach” of Rouen, or if you want to put it bluntly, the bowels of Rouen.
The festival is all about food. It’s really that simple. During the weekend, the roads are closed and straw is flung over the cobblestone streets, a bit like in the Middle Ages. And that is because it is supposed to resemble those days.
All the stalls on the roads introduce you to food (not just from Normandy, but from all of France). You walk the straw-filled streets, smelling all sorts of food being prepared and your senses come alive (as will your stomach).
The food can be any type made in France, from fish, or like above scallops, duck, beef, lamb, sausage and of course all sorts of French breads.
It gets quite busy that weekend, with some 120,000 visitors coming to Rouen for the occasion.
But what makes the festival even more interesting, is that most of the stalls have their staff dressed for their roles. It makes the streets very colourful, and with all the old houses around them, you’d swear you were transported in a time machine.
No, they are no Zombies. On many of the street corners, you’ll find entertainers: mimes, music, acrobats, etc. There are also many areas where they will amuse your children.
The festival is interesting to go to. You get to discover and eat good food, while taking in the sights.
The next festival is: 15-16 October 2016