Lions prepare to make audiences roar
FORT KENT, Maine — Move over Alec Baldwin. Chances are one of Fort Kent’s own will soon be impersonating President Donald Trump, if a hint from 2017 Pride of Lion’s Show Chairman Kris Malmborg is any indication.
“(Audiences) can definitely expect plenty of current news stuff being talked about in our own Lion’s Show fashion,” Malmborg said. “We assume that Trump will make some sort of appearance if he can free up his schedule to come to Fort Kent.”
The biennial show has a 50-year history of causing audiences to roar with laughter at skits written and performed by hard-working local men. Many of the home-grown actors possess a surprisingly deep reserve of talent, and all are Lions Club members who donate their time to the fundraiser.
Malmborg said that along with new characters and material inspired by current events, this year’s Pride of Lions Show will include the return of some beloved characters from past shows. Among them may be Malmborg’s character Fou Red, a harmless yet clueless individual who sports red long johns and whose first name is a translation of the local French word for “crazy.”
Veteran Lions Club members Ellery “Arms” Labbe and Emery “Legs” Labbe, and former Fort Kent Police Chief Kenneth “Dooty” Michaud may also make an appearance.
At age 33, Craig Caron is one of the younger members of the Fort Kent Lions Club, which sports 120 members, more than any other Lions Club in New England or New Brunswick. This will be Caron’s third time acting in the Pride of Lions Show. He plays a recurring character named Joe Tarro.
A car salesman in his daily life, Caron said he enjoys playing a role in the three-performance Lions Show.
“Every night is different but every night is a blast,” he said.
Malmborg said that, although the performance includes both English and French language, those who only speak English will have no problem enjoying the skits.
“We make it so everyone can understand the show, even if a few parts include French,” he said.
“The show is tailored for everybody from 20 years old all the way to 80. It’s tailored for everyone to have fun.”
The real reason behind that fun is the fund-raising component of the Pride of Lions Show. If all shows sell out, the Lions can raise upwards of $20,000 over the course of three nights of performances.
The Lions contribute to the community in a variety of ways, including a scholarship fund, maintaining the Lions Pavilion at Riverside Park, sponsoring the local Boy Scout troop as well as the Scouts’ annual chicken barbecue. Members also take care of decorating town light poles and the town Christmas tree every year.
The 2017 Pride of Lions Show will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday May 4, 5, and 6 at the University of Maine at Fort Kent Fox Auditorium. Tickets for the adult-themed fundraiser are $15 each and are available for sale at Pelletier Ford, Nadeau’s House of Flooring and both Chasse Chiropractic offices in Fort Kent and Madawaska.
“Give it a try. It’s the best night you’ll have all year,” Malmborg said.