Games for children, delights of Aveyron and steam trains: the Spring Festival continues until Monday evening, in Pithiviers

Started on Saturday morning, May 18, the very first edition of the Spring Festival continues until Monday evening, between the Pithiviers Transport Museum and the pretty natural site of Bellebat, to be reached by steam train, of course.

Saturday, May 18, in the morning, it was under mild weather that the three-day Spring Festival kicked off, departing from the Pithiviers Transport Museum and its pretty little station (rue Carnot) . With, throughout the long weekend – until Monday evening – three ancestral steam trains to ensure the return trips of travelers to the Bellebat site, four kilometers away (consult the traffic schedules below).

The Spring Festival, of which this is the first edition, coinciding with the European Night of Museums, the organizing association (AMTP) offered, on Saturday evening, a guided tour of the lantern museum, as well as a round trip night by train. This will have been full of travelers, since there were around a hundred on board at 9 p.m.

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Declining attendance?

A real reason for satisfaction for the station manager, Jean-Paul Balensi, although he must face the facts: “During the Steam Festival (this year replaced by the Spring Festival), we could sometimes take on board up to a thousand travelers, this weekend, given the reservations, we should be around 500.”

The friendly station manager, Jean-Paul Balensi. Photo: David Creff

Half a thousand, therefore, to reach, by train, this oasis of greenery called Bellebat, planted in the middle of the fields of Beauce. Where await, in particular, inflatable structures which will delight the little ones and this food-truck come especially from Laguiole for the occasion, owned by the Prajault house. “We only offer products from Aveyron, meat from Aubrac, aligot, sausages and beers from home…”, praises the multi-medalist, Laurent Prajault.

The large inflatable structure awaits the children. Photo: David Creff

Games-for-children-delights-of-Aveyron-a

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“It’s something to do at least once in your life.”

Bellebat still has picnic tables and little train rides around the site (included in the starting price), pulled by “a steam locomotive from 1870, also classified as a Historic Monument”, continues Jean-Paul Balensi, who arrived at the Pithiviers Transport Museum Association, “when I was 16, in 1973.”

Saturday noon, Myriam, her parents and her husband were among the first to return from Bellebat… Getting out of this car dating from 1913 (“an old Valenciennes tram trailer”), pulled by a German steam locomotive from 1917. “It’s the first time we’ve come (from Poilly-Lez-Gien), we have to do it again… We took the 10:30 a.m. train, and then drank our coffee in nature. Getting on board an old train is something you have to do at least once in your life, it’s magical.”

df2bcca799.jpgPatrick with his wife Myriam and his parents, who came especially from Poilly-Lez-Gien. Photo: David Creff

I go. The Spring Festival continues until Monday evening. Trains to Bellebat at 10:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Prices: 9 euros from 12 years old, 7 euros from 5 to 11 years old, free for children under five years old. Museum open between 10:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. More information on 02.38.30.48.26 or on ampt-cfpithiviers.com.

David Creff

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