LEWISTON – Franco-American tradition will be on full display at the Franco Center with a Christmas ham dinner followed by carols sung in French by a small choir at the next La Rencontre scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 12, starting at 11:30 a.m.

After a lunch of baked ham, sweet potatoes, dinner roll, peas and carrots, and a flaky puff pastry for dessert, a group of singers led by Roger Bouffard will perform a set of Christmas carols in French that are sure to transport patrons back to a time when the Franco Center was still known as St. Mary’s Church and French-language Christmas music was the norm there during the holiday season.

The cost to attend both the luncheon and the performance is $7. Advance reservations are a must and can be made by calling the Franco Center at 783-1585 between noon and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday during regular box office hours.

The deadline for reservations is 4 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 9, although Executive Director Louis Morin advises not waiting until the last minute since the Franco Center’s Heritage Hall will likely reach full capacity days before the registration deadline for this particular meal.

Phone messages left in the Franco Center’s voice-mail on weekends or off-hours are not a valid form of registration, since the event might already be sold out. However, messages inquiring about available seats along with a call-back number are welcomed and promptly returned.

“Last December’s La Rencontre was overcrowded, and it was the catalyst for the reservation system we put in place last spring,” Morin says. “We came to the realization that there is indeed such a thing as being too popular.”

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