5th Annual French Heritage Days Coming to VergennesBy Sue Hoxie
Recognized by Yankee Magazine as a 2010 “Top 20 Vermont Event”
Vergennes, Vermont – June 22, 2010 – The Vergennes Area Chamber of Commerce, a division of the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, is hosting French Heritage Days on Friday and Saturday, July 9 and 10, 2010 in Vergennes. The event celebrates the area’s French-Canadian heritage, but can be enjoyed by all, regardless of family descent. Full details of the event and a schedule of activities are available at www.frenchheritageday.com. Yankee Magazine has recognized the event as one of their “Top 20 Vermont Events” for 2010.
The event kicks off on Friday, July 9 from 6 to 9 pm with a Veillée (pronounced “vay yea”), a traditional French Canadian Supper (served from 6 to 7 pm), held at the Vergennes Opera House. The evening features a lively evening of dance with instruction and song.
Activities on Saturday, July 10 run from 7 am to 9:30 pm. The days’ activities begin with a French toast breakfast at the Vergennes Fire Station. Vergennes City Park will be host to day-long activities and feature colorful re-enactors, Franco-American music, French-Canadian fiddling, response songs, step-dancing, fencing demonstrations, French food, and traditional craft demonstrations such as spinning, weaving, rug hooking, rag rug making, crocheting, knitting, chair caning and rush weaving, a woodwright, basket and knife making. Exhibits will range from French artistry to bee keeping to historical information and tools to antique vehicles and engines.
Hands-on fun includes churning ice cream, pumping water, making rope, old-time games and children’s activities. Plan to stroll through the farmers’ market, trace your roots with the Vermont French-Canadian Genealogical Society, or practice your French with any number of people including participating local French conversational groups. Take a horse and carriage ride or join in a French and English-narrated walking tour of the city of Vergennes.
Performances in the Vergennes Opera House will include such local groups as The Sutherlands with Jeremiah McLane, Va-et-Vient, Green Mountain Cloggers, Celtic and Heather and Canadian performers La Famille Roy-Coté, les Ruine-Bottines and a Quebec caller/instructor/step-dancer, Pierre Chartrand.
French Heritage Days is held with the support of many sponsors: Vermont Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, Quebec Government Office in Boston, Addison Outfitters, Black Sheep Bistro, City of Vergennes, Classic Stitching, Gaines Insurance Agency, Good Companion Bakery, Linda’s Apparel and Gifts, Lisa Sprague, Mel Simmons, Merchants Bank, National Bank of Middlebury, Neat Repeats Resale Shop, The Northlands Job Corps Academy, Old Lantern, 3 Squares Café, and Tim Hodson.
About Addison County Chamber of Commerce
The Addison County Chamber of Commerce (ACCOC) is an association of individuals representing business interest, working together to promote commercial business in Addison County. The Chamber can be found on the Web at www.addisoncounty.com.