June 24, 2009


Event Date(s): 6/25/2009 - 6/28/2009

Name: Downtown Madawaska
Address: Main Street
City: Madawaska
State: ME

Event Time / Additional Information: 9 a.m. - 10 p.m. (see the list of events for times and more information)

The 32nd Annual Acadian Festival will take place June 25-28 in Madawaska. The festival celebrates the culture and heritage of the Acadians who, driven from Nova Scotia during the 18th century, ultimately arrived in the St. John Valley and established settlements that later became American and Canadian towns.

This year’s festival will coincide with the Marquis Family Reunion, with descendants of the original Acadian Marquis traveling to Madawaska from throughout North America — and perhaps points beyond.

Events will take place throughout downtown Madawaska, including Bicentennial Park overlooking the St. John River. Among the scheduled activities are:
• June 25
9 a.m.: Merchant sidewalk sale in downtown Madawaska;
10 a.m.: Quilt show at Madawaska High School;
6-8 p.m.: Official opening ceremony at Bicentennial Park. The Pride of Madawaska Band will perform, and a new festival mascot will appear;
8-10 p.m.: La Famille LeBlanc providing music at Bicentennial Park.

• June 26
9 a.m.-5 p.m.: Townwide yard sale;
9:30 a.m.-2 p.m.: The "My Acadian Valley" bus tour will stop at such locations as the Tante Blanche Museum, the Acadian Village, and Madawaska’s oldest homestead;
11 a.m.: Les Chanteurs Acadien providing music at Bicentennial Park;
12 noon, 2:30 p.m., and 4:30 p.m.: Great State of Maine Lumberjack Show at Bicentennial Park;
6-7 p.m.: Bed race on Main Street, with each team requiring five participants;
Throughout the evening: Various groups providing music in downtown Madawaska.

• June 27
6:30-11:30 a.m.: Acadian Breakfast at Four Seasons Trail Lodge, Spring Street, Madawaska;
9 a.m.: Top O’ Maine Mountain Bike Race at Four Seasons Trail Lodge;
9 a.m.- 4 p.m.: Open house at Martin Acadian Homestead on St. Catherine Street, Madawaska;
10 a.m.-3 p.m.: Show n’ Shine Classic Antique Car Show at Dead River Co., Madawaska;
10 a.m.-1 p.m.: Held at the Acadian Cross Landing Site on Route 1 in Madawaska, a Welcoming Ceremony will feature a re-enactment of the first Acadians arriving in the St. John Valley in 1785;
1:30 p.m., 4:30 p.m., and 9 p.m.: Great State of Maine Lumberjack Show at Bicentennial Park;
2-4 p.m.: Family Fun Day at Bicentennial Park;
6:30 p.m.: Fashion show at Four Corners Park on Main Street, Madawaska;
7-9 p.m.: La Famille Arsenault performing "Ca Swing Encore" at Bicentennial Park.

• June 28
10:30 a.m.: Firemen’s Chicken Barbeque at Madawaska Fire Station;
1 p.m.: Acadian Festival Parade on Main Street, Madawaska;
3:30-7 p.m.: Closing ceremonies at Bicentennial Park;
10 p.m.: Fireworks display launched over Madawaska.

Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day: Québec's Fête Nationale

Every year, on the 24th of June, all Québécois get together with friends and family to celebrate their Fête Nationale (National Holiday); la Saint-Jean-Baptiste. It is a privileged moment to celebrate our identity, our pride of what we were, of what we are and of what we dream of becoming. But what are the origins of this great national celebration?

The event originated more than 2000 years ago, in pre-Christian Europe, as the pagan celebration of the summer solstice. It was originally held on the 21st, but with the arrival of Christianity, it transformed into Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, and moved to the 24th. The two events did have several things in common after all. Both celebrated the symbol of "light"; the sun of the summer solstice and Saint-Jean-Baptiste who opens the way for the light of Jesus-Christ. The ancients used to light a great bonfire on the evening of the 24th to honour the sun, a tradition that continued into the Middle Ages.

Before the Revolution, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day was a very important event in France. In the night between the 23rd and 24th, the king himself used to light a great Saint-Jean bonfire. This tradition was brought to New France by the first colonists. The Jesuits refer to the tradition as soon as 1636. On the 24th of June of that year, the Gouverneur of Québec, Monsieur de Montmagny, had five shots of cannon fired. The first Saint-Jean bonfires in New France date back to 1638. They were accompanied by dancing and singing in every village along the Saint-Laurent river.

In the beginning, Saint-Joseph had been designated as the patron saint of New France (just like Saint-Patrick is to Ireland). The problem was that his Holy day is in March and the Québec climate during that time of the year is not very favourable for celebrating. It is for this very practical reason that Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day became more popular, the end of June being a great time to have fun outside. Today, the holiday has lost its religious meaning but has kept its traditional name.

June 18, 2009


Title: WBGS Meeting

Date: Saturday June 20, 2009

Time: 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Location: Westwego Library, 635 4th Street, Westwego, LA

Speaker: Richard Stringfield

Topic: Plaquemines Parish Native American research and the Ancar Family

June 15, 2009


The Breau Family Reunion

(Breault, Breaux, Brault, Brot et autres)

Friday, August 21, 2009 in Neguac


The Br(e)au-lt(x) during the World Acadian Congress 2009 will be held in Neguac on Friday, August 21, 2009. The day Programme includes a community breakfast at the Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School from 7 AM to 11 AM, a genealogical presentation by genealogist Robert Brault of Quebec from 8 :00 AM to Noon and from 7 PM to 9 PM at Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School, the Breau Family Rally & Tribute to Jean-François Breau at Neguac Sportplex Arena from 1:30 PM to 4:30 PM, and the Breau Party at Neguac Sportplex Arena with Les Fair-Isle-Liens group and others from 9 PM till 1 AM.

At Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School
From 7 AM to 11 AM
Admission : Adults: $5.00 & Children/Students: $3.00

Part 1: At Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School
From 8 AM to 11 AM
Admission included with breakfast

Part 2 : At Neguac C.S.C La fontaine School
From 7 PM till 9 PM
Free Admission

Invited artists : Dominique Breau, Marie-Josée Breau, Raymond Breau & others
At Neguac Sportplex Arena
From 1 :30 PM to 4 :30 PM
Admission : Adults : $5.00 & Children/Students: Free

BREAU PARTY (with Les Fair-Isle-Liens group)
At Neguac Sportplex Arena
From 9 PM to 1 AM
Admission: Adults 19 years or older: $8.00