Old and new events to draw crowds for Acadian Festival
MADAWASKA, Maine — Acadians near and far will flock to Madawaska Aug. 10-12 for the 41st Annual Acadian Festival in Madawaska.
The festival celebrates Acadian heritage and usually marks a family reunion for one of the original families to settle in the Valley. This year, however, will mark the second year that, instead of focusing on just one family, the Acadian Festival will celebrate four — the Thibodeau, Pelletier, Ayotte, and the Fournier families.
The celebration lasts three days, with a family supper Saturday evening, catered by Chez Helen. The dinner is “for everybody to attend,” said Chris Braley, president of the Acadian Festival Committee. “We celebrate the four names, but encourage anybody to go to dinner.”
The weekend is filled with several returning events. The Party du Main Street, a human foosball tournament, fire department BBQ, and Sunday parade mark annual events that help make the Acadian Festival what it is.
“Twin Rivers Paper is the king of the game [foosball] right now, they’ve held the title for a few years,” said Braley. “The fire department is trying to give them a run for their money.”
Some new events that the committee has arranged for this year include street dancers from New York, a magic show sponsored by Robert’s Jewelry, a flying disc dog show, and a giant, inflatable obstacle course. A full list of events can be found at the Acadian Festival website.
Braley got involved with the Acadian Festival four years ago as a volunteer and is now president of the committee.
“We are still looking for volunteers, there’s only a handful of people that help out each year,” he said. “Every year gets harder and harder [to find volunteers], but it’s better than it has been in a long time.”
The area businesses are a contributing factor for why the festival is thriving this year, according to Braley.
“We would never be able to do it without the businesses,” he said.
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