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150 paragliders in costumes colour the French’s Alps sky

Thousands of spectators were able people dressed up as Queen Elizabeth, Formula 1 cars or drummers flying through the sky.

Every year since 1974, the small village of Saint-Hilaire hosts one of the biggest delta plane and paragliding festival in France, the Icare Cup. In 1987, the “masquerade contest” or Icaranaval was created, awarding a pilot with a best costume prize.

“It creates a good atmosphere among the group of pilots, a solidarity between them”, Sara Gill, the treasurer and responsable for security and costume for Icarnaval told Reuters.

All the pilots are here for one thing: having fun.

The costumes make flight a little difficult for some of them and “sometimes we have some surprises”, said one of the pilots, Thierry Lotz who came from Saint-Etienne. “But we don’t do it to be comfortable”, he added.

Manon Depremorel who came from a small village in Les Pyrenee, said the most difficult thing was the take off. “We have the costume to deal with and we have to organise the hooks. That’s complicated”, she said.

The costume competition had to be stopped on Saturday as high winds stopped pilots from having a safe flight, but it will resume on Sunday (September 23) for the last day of the festival.

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