The ESAF Zug parade
Switzerland's most significant sporting and folks festival, the Eidgenöissche Schwing- und Älplerfest, has been and gone for another three years. And boy was it fun. Over the past weekend, around 440,000 people descended on our lakeside city of Zug, home to usually just over 30,000, for three days chock full of Swiss culture.
Watching the parade through the streets of Zug was the first highlight of the weekend and made a little more special for us with Little Z participating. She and her Trachtentanz group along with the yodellers, local Fasnacht characters, cows, alphorn and flag throwers paraded through town to the sounds of marching bands.
It was a bit of a rush to get ready for the 1 pm bus after getting home from Kindergarten at just noon. But thankfully I had prepared her difficult to iron Tracht the day before. I tell you those sleeves are challenging to get puffy.
All us locals adhered to the suggestion of taking public transport to the parade, and it took a bus every 15 minutes to get us all into town. With Little Z with her group, I strode through the thousands of other spectators who lined the streets from the Landsgemeindeplatz to the main stadium. It was so lovely to see so many people despite the awkward starting time of 2 pm.
The parade began to the sound of drums and continued with brass bands and of course cowbells. In between the Fasnacht characters and the flag throwers, was Little Z, her smile widening the moment she heard us calling her name. Such a long route (about 2.5km) for a little five-year-old.
Once the parade was over, we followed the crowds up into the festival area. It was that it was evident, just how many people we could expect for the weekend's festivities.