Wild West Shows in France

It’s no secret that the French are so totally obsessed with all things American. One day they’re thumbing their noses at us and the next, they’re waving American flags, dressing up like cowboys, dancing the Texas two-step and pretending like it was the good old 1870’s. Indeed, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Maybe it’s not the reason you came to France, but if you ever do max out your quota of impressionist art or vibrant chateaux gardens, consider the following Franco-American spectacles:

Le Country Rendez-Vous Festival
This boot-kickin’ country music festival takes place every July in the fair town of Craponne (pronounced: Crap + Own). Over 35,000 country music lovers don their best imitation cowboy gear and drive their Peugeot’s like wild Nevada mustangs into the green hills of the Haute-Loire region of France. I hear they even start speaking French with Texas accents. The event is sponsored by France’s Radio Country Club which you can listen to with much amusement online.

Disney’s Buffalo Bill Show
The French obsession with the wild west can be traced back to Buffalo Bill’s original Wild West Show that came to Paris for a limited run in 1889 and then happened to sell out every night until 1913 (kinda like “CATS” in the 1980’s). Disneyland® Resort Paris (née EuroDisney) has tapped into that long ago love affair with a twice-nightly Buffalo Bill show featuring a real herd of American bison tearing up clouds of dust upon the fields of Champagne. Expect lots of lasso tricks, fancy riding, and thunderous gun battles of exploding blanks all whilst eating your Disney dinner. Note: vegetarian menus are available, just like in the real Wild West.La Camargue
For a real French cowboy show with real men in real hats who work with real cattle, head south to La Camargue. The Rhône delta region of France is an exotic little corner of the country, bleached with salt air and the dry winds of the Mediterranean coast. Wild flamingos provide a flamboyant contrast to the local white horses and black-rimmed hats of les gardiens who ride them. You can witness cattle-branding in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and take in one of the famous bull fights of nearby Arles.