Dismantling the stands took place as per usual, and took less time than setting them up! There was less concentration in the air, and the atmosphere was very friendly, with presents being exchanged here and there, of products which had not been consumed and which the delegations didn’t want to carry back home again.
At 11.00 four buses were ready to take all the participants to the town centre for the parade. There a true parade was lined up, consisting of: police cars, followed by two horsemen and one horsewoman wearing period costumes, the ‘Orchiestra Deta OSP –Szamocin’ brass band, then the VIP carriage bearing Roman David Tauber, Christiane Keller, AEHT President Klaus Enengl and his wife Inge, Danuta Przybilak; then the 24 delegations preceded by their flags, walking in a happy gaggle. The parade made its way along a carefully signposted route to which curious members of the public flocked, and ended its march at St Stanislas Church, to the sound of martial music. The parade also halted outside the City Hall, where guards carrying their halberds stood to attention beside the honoured guests.
At the solemn mass, during which the halberdiers metamorphosed into excellent choristers, Canon Ignacy Rapior, assisted by the Prelate Wojciech Wolniewicz and Canon Wojciech Lawniczak, addressed the congregation to welcome them all in English, French and German, and to exhort them to take great delight in this very European Christmas.
Following the mass, the ‘Orchiestra Deta OSP –Szamocin’ treated the congregation to a fine performance consisting of a mixture of negro spirituals and other fitting tunes, loudly applauded by all those present.
The participants formed into their parade once more to make their way back to the main square close by, where lunch was served in a nearby restaurant, Club 65. Then some free time was on the agenda, before meeting up at the Casino Hotel Poland for a relaxed and convivial evening – though entry was strictly upon presentation of a passport or identity card. A team from the school had been detailed to serve a goulash at the roulette and blackjack tables or in front of the one-armed bandits. It was like a smoke-filled mini Las Vegas, where the AEHT President himself, Klaus Enengl, excelled himself at karaoke, winning the contest to loud applause. But just as for Cinderella, the coach was turned into … the midnight bus shuttle to carry the participants safely back home.