La Rencontre to be hosted at Franco Center on Feb. 20

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LEWISTON — Patrons of the next La Rencontre at the Franco Center will enjoy chicken pot pie and biscuits from KFC along with a side of coleslaw and a whoopee pie for dessert at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 20.

After the meal, entertainment in the form of traditional French-Canadian songs – sung in French – will be performed by Lorraine Ouellette (accordion), Gerry Dube (guitar) and Adrien Leclair (guitar). This local trio has performed several times at the Franco Center.

Cost for both the meal and the entertainment is only $7 – but that may change soon, said Franco Center executive director Louis Morin.

“It’s been seven dollars for many years now, and in the meantime our costs are going up across the board,” Morin said.

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He said that consistently cold weather this winter and the frequency of snow storms in December and early January have stretched the Franco Center’s heating and plowing budgets, respectively, to say nothing of rising food costs.

He said that if and when a decision is made to raise the price to $8, he would give patrons at least three months advance notice. “It won’t happen in March or April,” Morin said.

Everyone is invited to attend La Rencontre, but the Franco Center requires that reservations be made in advance so that staff can accurately estimate the number of pies and biscuits to order from KFC, which cooks them at their Lisbon Street location and delivers them hot to the Franco Center just before lunch is served.

The deadline for reservations is Monday, Feb. 17, and can be made by calling 207-783-1585 from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Patrons are encouraged to speak only French during the meal in Heritage Hall, which is accessed on the Oxford Street side of the building. In the spirit of fun, persons overheard speaking English may be fined a quarter for doing so, or they may “buy” the right to openly speak in English for $1.

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