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.
LeBlanc Family, Michael Parent, Greg Boardman and Robert Sylvain from the Band Boreal Tordu.