For lack of public meetings, pandemic obliges, the festivities of August 1 took an original turn on Saturday in La Chaux-de-Fonds (NE). The national anthem was played aboard the little tourist train and homes were adorned with more than 2,300 flags.
The Covid-19 crisis has forced many organizers of demonstrations marking the national holiday to reinvent themselves across Switzerland. As gatherings of more than 1000 people were banned, the chaux-de-fonnier committee thus sought a particular way to interest the population in the event.
First, the bells rang across town mid-morning on Saturday. Then, the music took over with eight accordionists of the Patria Orchestra who strolled around the watchmaking metropolis on board the local tourist train.
More than 2300 flags
About thirty musicians from the Armes-Réunies and La Persévérante fanfares, for their part, walked for a long time in the checkerboard of the famous watchmaking town planning, recognized as UNESCO World Heritage since 2009. The musicians mainly played the national anthem, but also other pieces.
Finally, the organizers invited the people of Chaux-de-Fonnière to adorn their windows and balconies, with a quantified challenge: that at least 2300 national banners be deployed in the watchmaking metropolis for the National Day (2300 being the city’s postal code ). The objective was largely exceeded.
To support the call to adorn the city with Swiss banners, the authorities have contributed to the ephemeral edifice. They displayed, as an incentive, the flags in several places and on the buildings of the municipal administration.