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Think fall isn’t exciting?

Think again & enjoy one fall festival after another
Oct 2022
3 min.

With so many vibrant tastes, colors, strolls through the woods, and fires in the hearth, Mother Nature puts on quite the show before her long winter sleep. Fall has inspired many artists and poets.

While Guillaume Apollinaire wrote, “autumn has made summer die,” Henri de Toulouse-Letrec said that it was “the spring of winter.” Neither depressing nor dull, fall offers so many beautiful days where the cool morning air gives way to the sun’s bright rays and array of colors. The fall equinox symbolizes the harvest and abundance, and is celebrated through festivals in towns and villages across France. It also means mushroom gathering, pumpkins, chestnuts, honey, apples, and the latest vintage on our tables.

Here is a quick overview of the fall festivals in the area that offer the chance to (re)learn about trades from yesteryear, as well as local customs and know-how.

Fall livestock parade

After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, this is arguably the most anticipated festival of the fall season. Since 1973, the fall livestock parade (to mark shepherds bring their herds down to the valley from the summer grazing pastures in the mountains) has traditionally taken place in October, in Annecy’s Old Town, where magnificently groomed herds of cows, goats, sheep, and other animals stroll through the cobblestone streets. The parade attracts locals, of course, as well as people from every corner of France and the Alps who travel to Annecy for this special occasion.

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© Gilles Piel / Fall livestock parade in Annecy

This incredible experience is well worth the trip. Enjoy tastings of local products, demonstrations of many long-forgotten historic trades, folk dancing, alphorns, local orchestras, and of course the parade, which begins at 14:30 (2:30pm). Starting with the herds of local cows, the parade stretches for more than 2.5 km throughout the streets and alleyways of the city, forming a loop from Faubourg Sainte-Claire

See you in Annecy on October 8.


Fall livestock parade


The 41st edition of this magnificent fall festival Ancileviennerie will take place, as usual, in the Albigny neighborhood of Annecy-le-Vieux. Over one-hundred exhibitors, mostly comprised of traditional local artisans, will gather to display their many talents. Enjoy bread made onsite, animals grazing at the festival’s mini-farm, a threshing machine demonstration, and, of course, local Savoyard traditions, from delicious culinary delights to folklore, all in a warm and welcoming family-friendly atmosphere.




Ancileviennerie in Annecy-le-Vieux

As per tradition, the festival officially begins On Saturday evening the night before, with dinner and dancing under the heated big tent set up in the Belle Etoile parking lot in Albigny. This year, dance to the rhythm of the 1980s. We highly recommend that you make your reservation ahead of time.

See you in Annecy-le-Vieux on October 16.



The apple and squash Festival

This fall, Thorens-Glières celebrates the 21st edition of its legendary apple and squash Festival. The event includes a local farmers, artisans, and shopkeepers market, apple juice and blood sausage made onsite, a heritage fruits and vegetables exhibit, fun activities and entertainment, as well as a giant pumpkin/squash contest!

See you in Thorens-Glières on October 23.

St. Martin Festival

As with every year, Alby-sur-Chéran organizes the St. Martin Festival. For those who have never visited Alby-sur-Chéran, take the opportunity to explore this picturesque, quaint, well-preserved medieval village. The center square (“Place du Trophée”) has a beautiful fountain in the middle and is surrounded by colorfully painted centuries-old buildings with ground-floor archways as well as narrow alleyways that lead to hidden jewels.

When you set foot in Alby, it really does feel like taking a time machine back to the Middle Ages. Alby-sur-Chéran’s fall festival takes place in the center of town. For the occasion, more than three dozen local farmers, artisans, shopkeepers and associations regale visitors with a wide variety of produce and products. Walk from one booth to another along the village streets in a warm and family-friendly atmosphere. City Hall has put together a program filled with a variety of entertainment and activities that includes fun games made with wood, a basket weaving workshop for kids, and an alphorn concert.

St. Martin Festival in Alby-sur-Chéran

St. Martin Festival in Alby-sur-Chéran

During your visit, be sure to walk along the “Suivez la mouche” (follow the fly) trail. In just over an hour, learn about the history and heritage of this medieval village. While the name for the walk is a reference to fly fishing – a popular outdoor activity along the Chéran River – it also refers to the nails used by local cobblers to attach soles to shoes; the nail heads look like fly wings.

The walk follows a path lined with signs that explain the history of the place and area. Each sign asks a question whose answer can be found just a few meters away. Use the ViAnnecy mobile application for this self-guided tour.

See you in Alby-sur-Chéran on November 11.


Follow the fly


  • © Gilles Piel

Journalist: Aude Pollet-Thiollier

Translation: Darin Reisman