Sainte-Marie aux Mines was a silver mining town and Euromineral has its origins in a local mining exhibition in 1962, which developed into a regular event and then a small scale trade show after only four years. It has grown steadily ever since, and now takes over the town for around a week as the streets are closed and tents put up. The locals put up with a lot of noise and mess for a while, but the town does well from it and everyone is generally made very welcome.
I used to camp in one of the town's two campsites but prices rose, amenities declined and I gave up a few years ago. Now I stay with a group of friends in an organic cider farm a few miles away. Lovely place, but can get busy with mosquitoes. Riley will be running the shop while I'm away.