LEWISTON — The Fête Nationale and the Feast Day of St. Jean the Baptist will be celebrated Friday, June 23, at The Dolard & Priscilla Gendron Franco Center.

The celebration is in association with the Québec Delegation to Boston, the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College, the Maine Franco-American Genealogical Society, Place St-Louis in Auburn and Museum L-A.

“We will once again showcase the past and future contributions of Franco-American and other Francophone cultures in our community,” Mitch Thomas, executive director at the Gendron Franco Center, said. “We are so fortunate to have Québec native and master accordionist Normand Gagnon as our featured entertainer.” 

Gagnon will be joined by a group of musicians.

The event will start with a social hour and cash bar in the center’s Heritage Hall at 10:30 a.m. At 11:30 a.m., a Fête Nationale luncheon will be served, followed by a celebration in the Performance Hall. This will include live traditional entertainment and special tribute selections by Nel Meservier.

Special guests include Marie-Claude Francoeur, head of the Québec Delegation to Boston, and Rita S. Dube, the Franco Center’s founding executive director.  A special dedication honoring Madame Dube will take place during the celebration.

The traditional feast day menu includes soup bouillon, salade de printemps, meat tourtiere and cake des Fêtes.

Churches from across the Twin Cities will ring their bells at noon to celebrate the feast day.

The 12:30 p.m. program will include the musicians, speakers, the Franco-American Veterans Color Guard, and songs led by Les Troubadours. A special surprise tribute and a fireworks display will conclude the program.

Reserved meal tickets are $12. To purchase tickets, visit the box office at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston, go online at francocenter.org, or call (207) 783-1585

Box office hours are Monday through Friday from noon to 4 p.m.

Master accordionist Normand Gagnon


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