Top Stories

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.

St. John Valley Acadians celebrate the end of their Acadian Festival with a noisy Tintamarre parade, complete with these traditional giant heads, and an outdoor feast on Monday afternoon, August 15, 2016. (Adam Nadeau photo)

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.”

Members of the Cyr Family team (center, facing forward) ready to play against Norstate players in the human foosball tournament as the referee drops the ball into the pen during the Acadian Festival’s Family Fun Day on Aug. 12. 2017.
(Elizabeth Theriault)

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.

For more information about activities, or how to get involved with volunteering, visit the festival website or facebook page.

Follow Morgan Mitchell on Twitter @TheMaineMorgan

Get the Rest of the Story

Thank you for reading your 4 free articles this month. To continue reading, and support local, rural journalism, please subscribe.