April 11, 2007

Petanque Centenary

2007 will be celebrated as the 100th birthday of pétanque and festivities are being prepared in France.

June 2nd has been declared the official Journée Mondiale de la Pétanque.

On July 13, in La Ciotat, there will be a re-enactment of the first game of Jules Le Noir at the café of the Pitiot brothers, followed by - surprise! - an apéritif, and then the finals of one the 2007 Masters tournaments.

La Ciotat, a simple fishing village in those days, has another claim to fame: it's where in 1895 the Lumière brothers shot their famous 50 second oeuvre of a train arriving at the railway station: L'arrivée d'un train en gare de la Ciotat , generally considered to be the first motion picture in modern history. The public showing of the movie in Paris apparently scared the hell out of some audience members.

And several famous ocean liners were built there. Now it is a popular repair facility for mega yachts.

As to why all the signs around the boulodrome in La Ciotat state 1910 as the birthday of pétanque? We'll get back to that later.

(originally posted Dec 16, 2006)

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