February 14, 2003
The University of Maine at Fort Kent corporate relations office will again host the "Soiree du Bon Vieux Temps," as part of Fort Kent's annual Mardi Gras celebration, on Tuesday, March 4, beginning at 7:00 p.m. in the Bengal's Lair in Cyr Hall.
The event will feature an evening of music, dance and Mardi Gras festivities.
"One of the main objectives of the university's corporate relations office is to build bridges between communities across the border in the St. John Valley. That has traditionally meant planning events for business people to get together in a meeting setting. This event will allow people to get together in a social setting, one that also celebrates our culture," said Diane Nadeau-Saucier, executive director for corporate relations.
In addition to coordinating the event Nadeau-Saucier will provide entertainment on the organ. Joining her in the house band will be violinist Alberie Pelletier, guitarist and vocalist Nelson Michaud, Warren Harvey on bass, and John Babin on drums. The musicians are from Fort Kent and Frenchville.
This will mark the first time the musicians have played together at the "Soiree". In addition Nadeau-Saucier, Harvey, Pelletier, Michaud and Babin all played together in the past.
Nadeau-Saucier is the organist and choir director at the Catholic Church in Clair, New Brunswick, and one of the organists at the St. Louis Catholic Church in Fort Kent. Pelletier, Harvey and Babin retired from local bands, and Michaud continues to perform with the Centerline Band.
"I'm really excited about this event and about participating in the 12th annual Fort Kent celebration of Mardi Gras. We will be playing all of the old time music that many people of all ages in this area enjoy, as well as other music upon request," said Nadeau-Saucier.
Joining the band again this year is local celebrity Melanie Saucier who will be singing French and English songs.
According to Nadeau-Saucier, the "soiree" was a popular event during last year's Mardi Gras celebration along with the Fiddler's Jamboree, which is also held annually. The Fiddler's Jamboree will be held on Sunday, March 2, from 2:00 through 4:00 p.m. in the Bengal's Lair in Cyr Hall on the UMFK campus.
Admission to the "Soiree du Bon Vieux Temps" will be $3 per person. Tickets will be pre-sold through the UMFK corporate relations office at UMFK Cyr Hall, at Radio Shack, and at the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce office.
The Maine Acadian Heritage Council provides partial funding for this event.
For more information on this event contact Nadeau-Saucier at 834-7800.