The local market is on today so we went for a look. It is still very windy, with even the locals getting annoyed with it.
Tartarin, it appears, was a local windbag who boasted of his made-up hunting exploits. To appease his critics, he went to Africa and bagged a lion, turning him into a local legend. In fact, Tartarin was a character invented in a book by Alphonse Daudet, but the locals are evidently more proud of the fictional character created by the author, than the author himself, who takes second place in the statue.
Tarascon is a lovely place that seems just a bit down on its luck at the minute. Looking at the Google Maps images which were updated two years ago, there seems to have been more going on, with more shops open then. The town hall is particularly impressive: