JAY -French cultural traditions from both sides of the United States/ Canadian border will make for a day of family fun at the Second Annual Terre pis Ciel Franco Festival Saturday, Aug. 7.

Featuring folk music, dance, theater and literature, the event was spawned last summer as a means “to celebrate the rich heritage, culture and language of the Franco-Americans living in our towns by bringing all people – old and young, Franco or not – together for a day of traditional music, food, art and games,” says founder Adele St. Pierre.

St. Pierre is a native of Jay and still has many family members living on the farm where the festival is held.

Returning to the festival after their rousingly received debut appearance at last year’s Terre pis Ciel is the band La Grand’ Débâcle, from the town of Ste. Marie in the Beauce region of Quebec.

Members of the group are known for their high-energy repertoire of jigs and reels, performed on fiddle, accordion, guitar and percussion with singing and step dancing.

Also on the bill is folk singer Josée Vachon, who was born in Quebec and raised in Maine, and Franco-American master fiddler Don Roy and his pianist wife, Cindy.

Hightower & Sparks, known for its original plays and whimsical papier maché creations, will present a one-act drama inspired by conversations with Franco-American farmers.

Local harmonica wiz Fred Legere and his handcrafted limberjacks (dancing puppets) will serve as the opening act at 10 a.m., accompanied on guitar by St. Pierre.

Rounding out the entertainment roster are two other area groups, The Moose Creek Cloggers and the Muddy Bottoms band.

Besides stage performances, there will be a Franco writers tent, an array of traditional Franco foods from crepes to tourtiere to maple syrup treats, and a variety of fun “Farm Olympics” games for the young and young at heart.

The doors for the Terre pis Ciel Festival open at 9:30 a.m., with activities anticipated to wrap up around 6 p.m. Attendees are asked to bring chairs or blankets to sit on, but to leave pets at home. The St. Pierre farmstead is located on Route 133, about 5 miles south of Bean’s Corner and 3 miles north of downtown Livermore Falls.

There is a suggested donation of $5 for admission to the festival, with a portion of the proceeds earmarked for a scholarship to benefit study in Quebec or France by an area student enrolled at UMF.

The festival has received support from numerous area businesses and organizations, as well as a grant from the Maine Community Foundation.

More information on the festival, including a full entertainment schedule, is available via the Web site at www.terrepisciel.com.


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