AT THEIR DOORSTEP, The Street Fairs of Paris & Their Carnival Folk by our client, Charlotte Perret, is an engaging photographic and anecdotal oral history based on 157 vintage, photographic postcards documenting the remarkable carnival families and the itinerant neighborhood street fairs of Paris in the heady days of the Belle Époque, wherein hundreds of great steam engine and electric rides, circuses, game stands and concessions filled neighborhood after neighborhood in mammoth three-week fairs all over the city.
For the itinerant carnival folk, the fairs were a way of life, hard work and discipline and a constant challenge to their skills and ingenuity. These extraordinary fairs now remain only in the memories of the carnival families whose relatives created them and those Parisians lucky enough to have experienced them. A chance conversation with elderly carnival folk in 1981 gave the author extraordinary access to this once celebrated, but little understood Parisian carnival universe. Many of the elderly carnies interviewed in 1981 have since passed away leaving very few carnival folk who know this rich oral legacy.