'Free Flight' Festival Celebrates Greek Myth Hero 'Icarus'


223 Words 2-Minute Listen

From September 17th through September 21st, thousands of people gathered at Saint-Hilaire du Touvet in France, to watch an assortment of creatively made aircraft soar (or crash) in the skies to celebrate the Icarus Cup - The world's oldest 'free flight' festival.

The event, started to re-live the flight of Greek legend Icarus, who according to ancient lore tried to escape prison with 'wings' made from feathers stuck to his body with wax, was started by three paragliding enthusiasts in 1974.

Now every summer, 8,000 flying enthusiasts try to re-live his dream of flying by launching off the plateau Des Petites Roches flying down to Lumbin, 600 meters below. The four-day affair now includes many different ariel flights including para-gliding, hot-air ballooning, kite flying and even a man flying in a jet-propelled suit. To keep the spectators on the ground entertained, the event also features trade shows and an ariel film festival.

However, the highlight of the four-day event is the Masquerade Contest where prizes are awarded for the most 'innovative and poetic' flying vehicles - Over the years, these have included dragons, giant footballs, cars and even birthday cakes - Some glide gracefully to their destination, while others simply drop down - either way they provide a source of amusement to the enthusiastic crowd below.

sources:destinationflen.eurostar.com, coupe-icare.org,guardian.co.uk

Cite Article
  • greekgeeksophie
    greekgeeksophieThursday, February 27, 2020 at 8:04 am
    i also have read every Percy Jackson book
    • greek_girl13
      greek_girl13Friday, July 24, 2020 at 9:01 am
      I'm on the 5th one!
    • greekgeeksophie
      greekgeeksophieThursday, February 27, 2020 at 8:03 am
      Greek mythology is the BEST
      • greek_girl13
        greek_girl13Friday, July 24, 2020 at 9:02 am
      • hutucevenolova
        hutucevenolovaWednesday, May 29, 2019 at 5:19 am
        I have read every single Percy Jackson book 3 times so this is amazing to me.
        • Greek MythsMonday, June 4, 2018 at 1:29 pm
          YAY Greek Mytholagy
          • mythologizer Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 9:45 am
            this is yesterdays news
            • meleficent
              meleficentThursday, April 13, 2017 at 6:56 am
              That is not cool because if somebody falls they will plunge to the ground and die instatly!
              • ilumanateWednesday, April 13, 2016 at 8:49 am
                • maseface
                  masefaceWednesday, April 5, 2017 at 7:06 am
                  this is not a joke people die!
                • love lifeMonday, February 8, 2016 at 2:33 pm
                  • ThegreekmanSaturday, May 30, 2015 at 10:29 am
                    This is awesome
                    • TheGreekmanThursday, May 28, 2015 at 6:54 pm
                      Boss Greek stuff :)