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Musicians needed if annual Fort Kent Mardi Gras Fiddler's Jamboree will happen this year

January 14, 2005



Well-known St. John Valley fiddler Lionel Doucette performs at the 2004 Mardi Gras Fiddler's Jamboree. Musicians wanting to participate in this year's event need to contact Marc Chasse to guarantee the event will happen as scheduled on Sunday, February 6.

Organizers of this year's annual Fort Kent Mardi Gras celebration are hoping area musicians will come forward and agree to participate in the popular Fiddler's Jamboree, which has been held annually on the UMFK campus for more than a decade.

"We are looking for area musicians to come forward by contacting us and letting us know they are interested and will participate in the popular event, which is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, February 6 at 1:00 p.m. in the Bengal's Lair at UMFK," said Marc Chasse, who is working to organize the jamboree through the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce and working with the University.

Chasse has agreed to coordinate the call for musical talent for the event to help determine whether or not the Jamboree will be a go this year.

"It would be a shame if we cannot continue this very popular event. Every year the audience for the Jamboree seems to grow to the point where we have standing room only," said Chasse, who has videotaped the event for local cable access every year it has been held.

In the past, the event has drawn both performers and an audience from throughout Aroostook County and Western New Brunswick.

The event is modeled after the old-fashioned "house parties", that were especially popular in the St. John Valley in the 1800's and early 1900's, when many individuals from the community would come together during the day for a "frolic" or barn raising and then come together in the evening for an evening of music, story-telling and fun.

Fiddlers, guitarists, other acoustic musicians, and singers are encouraged to contact Marc Chasse at (207) 834-3406, before January 23, if they are interested in participating in the event.

Based upon interest, Chasse and the Mardi Gras planning committee will decide whether the event will take place or not.