ORONO – The public is invited to celebrate Mardi Gras from noon to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 24, at the University of Maine Franco-American Centre at Crossland Hall.

The afternoon will be an opportunity to sample a buffet of traditional North American French cooking, including tourtiere, chicken stew and salmon pie.

For people who have never tried French Canadian tourtiere or cretons/cortons, a pate or pork spread, this is the time to try it, said Lisa Desjardins Michaud, the Franco-American Centre’s communications coordinator.

The afternoon also will feature the traditional pancake-like Acadian ployes and home-style baked beans. Desserts will include molasses cookies, mini-cream puffs, mini-eclairs and date squares.

The event also is a time to learn about Mardi Gras from the Franco-American perspective, said Michaud.

Mardi Gras, translated from French, means Fat Tuesday. It is a day of feasting and celebration before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent, the traditional Catholic period of abstinence and fasting. Mardi Gras is celebrated 47 days before Easter.

Kristin Langellier and Eric Peterson, of the UMaine Communications and Journalism Department, will sign copies of their new book “Storytelling in Daily Life,” which explores various forms of narratives and storytelling, including Maine Franco-Americans’ personal histories as preserved through family storytelling.

For more information, Michaud is available at 581-3789 or by e-mail at [email protected] The Franco-American Centre, located in Crossland Hall next to Alfond Arena, is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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