GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – To the delight of many Geneva residents the popular neighborhoods flea markets / public outdoor parties return.
The La Ville est à vous, also known as the city’s Fêtes de rues, is an event for citizens to “take back the streets,” using the public space for their enjoyment.
For its ninth edition, the city, through neighborhood associations, organizes 12 street fairs between May and September.
The fairs offer outdoor concerts, art performances, food stalls, a flea market in designated streets, and outdoor ludotheques or children’s play areas.
Anyone can set up shop on the streets and sell everything from bicycle parts to clothes you no longer fancy.
Those wanting to set up a stand can do so by showing up early and setting up within the established boundaries; street space is free and set-up is done on a first-come, first-served basis. In 2011 some vendors started showing up as early as 6:00am! Only non-professionals are authorized to sell.
If you are interested in selling food, you must attend one of the neighborhood meetings in order to register. Food sales permits are free, but you are required to use biodegradable plates and utensils and must attend a free orientation meeting provided by the Geneva Health Department.
The Paquis neighborhood flea market known as La rue est à vous – which was the godmother of these city-sponsored neighborhood fairs and ended abruptly in 2010 – joins the La ville est à vous in 2012, but on a much smaller scale.
Organizers no longer post access maps for each of the festivities; therefore, you’ll have to visit each of the neighborhood association websites for further information, or in some cases email organizers directly.
I have compiled the following list to ease your search for fun.
The 2012 list
- Petit-Saconnex: 5-6 May, Association des habitants des quartiers de Petit-Saconnex et Genets, email@example.com
- Sécheron: 12 May 2012, La Nouvelle Association des habitants de Prieure-Sécheron, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grottes: 19-20 May 2012, Pré-en-Bulle, email@example.com
- Plainpalais: 2-3 June 2012, Maison de quartier de Plainpalais, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saint-Jean: 9-10 June 2012, Association Saint-Jean en fête, email@example.com
- Eaux-Vives: 16-17 June 2012, Ô vive à vous, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Concorde: 25 August 2012, Association des habitants du quartier de la concorde, email@example.com
- Jonction: 1-2 September 2012, Association KAPOUPAKAP
- Charmilles-Europe: 8-9 September 2012, Association Sportive des Charmilles, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Champel: 15 September 2012, Maison quartier de Champel, email@example.com
- Coulouvrenière: 22-23 September 2012, firstname.lastname@example.org (between the Seujet bridge and La Usine bar area)
- Pâquis: 29-30 September 2012, Les Pâquis sont à la rue
Here’s one more idea for what to do on those lonely Sundays in Geneva.