Normandy Cherry Festival Celebrates its 30th Anniversary

CherrriesPerhaps best known for being the nearest town to painter Claude Monet’s home and garden in Giverny, Vernon is also famous for another reason; cherries.

The Normandy town’s renowned cherry fair gets underway over the bank holiday weekend and will be celebrating its 30th year.

There will be over 200 stands selling ripe red cherries, local delicacies and other foods and crafts over the weekend as well as music, concert, street theatre, clowns, jugglers and even a rugby demonstration.

Cherries have been grown commercially in the area since the beginning of the 20th century and were taken by train to the best markets in Paris and on to England.

The fair marks the beginning of the cheery eating season which starts at the end of May until the end of October. This year is the 30th annual event and 60,000 people are expected over the four days of the fair.

Certain streets will be closed to traffic during the fair. Avenue Pierre-Mendes-France will be shut between Rue de Gamilly and Avenue Gambetta all day on Saturday. Bus routes are also affected by road closures and some car parks are expected to fill up quickly while others will be closed.

Visitors are advised to park along the banks of the River Seine, at the station and the Clemenceau car park will be open.
The Bizy area was renowned for its fruit trees before the Second World War when plums, blackcurrants and redcurrants were also grown in abundance. The producers formed the Vernon Fruiterers Union in 1925.

The traditional harvest saw the men folk picking the cherries and the women packed them in traditional wooden boxes as well as weighing them and getting them ready to take to the station. Many were destined for the La Halle market in Paris, the finest food market in France and boxes were also sent over to England.

About Ray Clancy

Ray Clancy has 20 years experience in journalism including contributing articles to print and on-line publications such as PropertyWire.com, Property World Middle East and websites for estate agents. She has also written for the Daily Telegraph and Mail on Sunday.

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