Well, here's a thing. We live near Benest, and went along to the Pizza party and fireworks organised in the village. It was fun! This was the first 14th in Benest (we live in one of the attached hamlets) and we were a little apprehensive: lots of old people, recalcitrant maire, anti-English sentiment and (mainly) dead or dying village. But no, there were plenty of people, most were in fact young, and, for a while, I think I was the oldest person there (and I'm only just over 60). We do know the local boulangerie (from buying the products, but also because the woman who makes the van rounds to the outlying hamlets is English), and they were making the pizzas: I am sure several hundred were made and sold last evening. And on the most fantastic wood burning pizza oven (OK, presumably really a bread oven). Lots of the local people had, it seems, lots of fun (perhaps mostly alcohol induced), the school children walked up to the firework field with burning torches, and the fireworks were above expectation, too (above mine, anyway). We did see, perhaps, five or six english people, but they were joined in. Altogether, good fun.
In fact, I might add that, since we moved in, people here have been more than friendly. In December, a tree came down in a storm in our hamlet and the electricity and phone were cut off. The ERDF reconnected most of the lines, but not ours (because we were in the UK). We returned on the coldest day of the winter: -15. The following day, 15 cm of snow. Our nearest neighbour came round to see if we were still alive! (She's 90, by the way.) And later that day, other locals rescued us, and we spent about a week keeping warm and clean in their house (while ERDF got round to reconnecting the power). The boulangère called in and helped, and she helped sort out the phone. This is a small and declining community, but I think it could work just fine for us. (And we hear the local bar has been sold and will re-open in February: yay!