If you ever find yourself in the country when a village is sponsoring a feast, cancel whatever you had planned and go! We saw a sign for "sanglier a la broche" in a village near where we were staying and decided to go.
We arrived about quarter to 8 and bought tickets for dinner, 18€ each. At 8pm, cars started to stream in. A bar was set up outside the Salle Polyvalenti or village multi-use hall. Everyone was drinking kirs. Inside, women were holding down large sections of tables for their families or friends. Around 9, everyone drifted inside and looked for seating. We were adopted by several couples when they found that we were visitors and, "No way!" Americans. Word soon traveled and we became the curiosities of the evening: crazy Californians who didn't speak the language, miles from a destination town, bellied up to the table for barbequed boar and beans.
Men bought bottles of wine. Baskets of bread arrived. Cantaloupe halves were served and a man came around filling the centers with cassis. Next, platters of boar and bowls of kill-me-now flageolets with thyme and lardons were plunked down between every 8 or so people. Then seconds arrived. Then huge bowls of green salad. Then thirds of boar and beans. Then fromage blanc. Of course, many bottles of wine miraculously appeared and disappeared during the courses. Many toasts. A group of sonneurs (players of hunting horns) entertained. And sang. And a few drinking songs were remembered and sung. Tributes to those who had worked on the fete and even a thank you to us for visiting. Then a drawing for door prizes.
At this point, we were sated and exhausted from being on good behavior so publicly and for so long. My husband signaled that he was about to crash, and we left to protestations that dessert was yet to come! It was 1:30am. We made our thanks to the table and MC and found our way out, amazingly remembering our route back to our beds on dark and narrow and unfamiliar country roads.
If we ever have to choose between another fête and keeping a reservation at a nearby 3star, there will be no hesitation in choosing the former. If you have the opportunity to attend one, grab it!