Saturday, March 19, 2011

Maine celebrates Franco-American Day

Courtesy: Capital Weekly

Governor Paul LePage joined nearly 100 people at the State House Wednesday, March 16, in celebrating Maine’s 10th annual Franco-American Day.

Throughout the day, events recognizing the French heritage were held in the House of Representatives, Senate and Hall of Flags. Historical and cultural exhibits were on display at the Statehouse, as well. According to a press release from the Governor's Office, legislators, staff and visitors enjoyed French music performed by a variety of musicians, including the LeBlanc Family Singers, Sylvian’s Acadian Aces and Lewiston Strings, whose melodies of echoed throughout the halls.

“The Franco-American community here in Maine has a proud, long history," said LePage in the release. "For over 400 years, the language, history and people have enriched our state. I think it's very, very important that the 30 percent of Mainer's with French heritage take pride in their history, culture and diversity. And it makes me very proud to be only the second governor of this great state to have come from French heritage."

During a presentation of new inductees to the 2011 Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame, LePage welcomed dignitaries from the French and Canadian consulates in Boston. The governor congratulated those inducted into the Hall of Fame, thanking them for their contributions to the state's French-American culture.

Those inducted into Maine's Franco-American Hall of Fame were Patrick Paradis of Augusta, Terry Ouellette of St. Agatha, and Claire and Gilles Auger of Sanford. Members inducted posthumously were Dr. Edward Martin and Sister Solange Bernier.

Beth and students at the State Capitol meeting Maine's First Lady: Anne LePage

Students were special guests of State Representative: David Webster of Freeport

Students served as Pages in both the Senate and the House of Representatives

Students preparing to enter the chamber. State Representatives gave them a standing ovation.

Student learning the duties of the perfect page in the House of Representatives.

Meeting the volunteers of the Acadian Village of Van Buren - Maine

Dancing and singing with Acadian musicians in the Hall of Flags:
LeBlanc Family, Michael Parent, Greg Boardman and Robert Sylvain from the Band Boreal Tordu.

Student Chorus performing as foreign dignitaries and Maine Legislators arrive.