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Neuchatel celebrates vintage festival

Floral floats take pride of place at the Neuchatel event (picture: Neuchatel winegrowers festival)

The colourful winegrowers festival in Neuchatel is expected to attract tens of thousands of people after the three-day event kicks off on September 28.

The festival in the western town is one of the most popular events of its kind in Switzerland because of the carnival atmosphere it inspires. Orchestras, jazz and marching bands set the tone on the first evening, as tents spring up around town.

A series of parades draw up to 40,000 visitors on Saturday and Sunday. The highlight is the Sunday procession with its many floats crowned with weird and amazing creatures. The traditional floral float will be decorated with hundreds of thousands of dahlias, chrysanthemums and other flowers.

Vineyard trail

The wine museum in the nearby village of Boudry provides insights into the history of wine making in the region and why the people of Neuchatel are so passionate about the grape.

Further south, hikers and wine lovers are invited on October 6 and 7 to the inauguration of a new trail through the terraced Lavaux vineyards overlooking Lake Geneva.

The four-kilometre walk begins in Chexbres and visitors can stop at the Faverges and Burignon vineyards, which date back to the Middle Ages. The wine cellars will be open on both days from 10am to 6pm.

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