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Festival of the Sorgue
The festival reflects the commitment of the people and institutions of this beautiful area while also illustrating the historical relationship between our towns. Every summer, the festival offers a variety of shows with the common themes of enjoyment, and neighbourliness and, as far as possible, everything is free of charge.
The Floating Market
The “Nego Chin” is a punt designed to pass through the shallows. It is a highly stable boat, once widely used for fishing or hunting in the marshes. The translation of the name is, strangely, “drowned dog!” The boat, typical of Provence, is very light, fast and highly manoeuvrable.
The “Nego Chins” slide from one bank of the river to the other when called by the public. they display a medley of colours and scents with local products such as fruits and vegetables, bouquets of flowers, cheese, wine, bread and much more besides.
The floating market of L'Isle sur la Sorgue is held every year on the first Sunday of August between 9 am and 2 pm alongside with the famous Sunday Provençal market. It takes place on the branch of the Sorgue opposite the Public Gardens.
The Corso Nautique
The Corso is a parade of barges that takes place over two evenings. The carnival characters are presented on Saturday morning, marching through the city centre, and on Sunday and Monday evenings they take to the water.
The Corso illuminates the river in a riot of colours and flowers. Carnival floats carry all kinds of magical characters, and one proudly bears the Corso Queen and her princesses.
For over fifty years this boating extravaganza, has delighted children and adults alike. The Corso Nautique, on the last Sunday and Monday of July.
Négo Chin races
Fontaine de Vaucluse
At Fontaine de Vaucluse, see the World Championship “Nego Chin.” races
On the last Sunday in June, in the early afternoon, as a warm up before the race, the best gondoliers in the world will offer a small boat trip on the water behind the dam. At 4 pm the competition starts. Fifteen crews compete over three laps with many challenges, such as the difficult passage through the Roman canal.
Since 2001 the town of Fontaine de Vaucluse has been home to this iconic race festival on the last Sunday in June.
l’Isle sur la Sorgue
Throughout the summer, the weekends pass to the rhythm of boat races across L'Isle sur la Sorgue. The first of these races takes place on July 14. During these games, between twenty and thirty boats compete with each other on the canals. For adults, the summer season has five races, including one for mixed-sex crews which are decided by drawing lots.
Children and adults can learn to steer a Négo-Chin every day in summer, on a branch of the Sorgue organised by the Négo-Chin association.
Old fashioned fishing
Every third Sunday of July, the fishermen take out their punts — “Négo-Chins” — to demonstrate the ancient fishing arts. From 10 am onwards on the water at La Cigalette.
They typically dress in grey or black trousers, a jacket in black velvet or brown flannel, with a felt hat and white shirt.
The patron saint of local fishermen is Our Lady of La Sorguette, you can admire her effigy in one of the chapels of the Collegiate Church of Notre Dame des Anges. On the occasion of this festival she is paraded from the water to the Chapel where the fishermen and fisheries are blessed.
The water joust is a confrontation between two jousting teams mounted on boats propelled by oars or sometimes by a motor. There are several methods for this game across regions. In L'Isle sur la Sorgue the boats have a crew of oarsmen and one jouster. This event takes place on the weekend of August 15 each year.