AUGUSTA—Today, lawmakers are celebrating the 14th annual Franco-American Day at the State House.
“We take this day to recognize the contributions of Franco-Americans across Maine who have done outstanding work in preserving and promoting Franco culture and the French language,” said Senator Libby of Lewiston, the Senate chair of the Franco-American Heritage Day.
Senator Libby served as Senate President Pro Tem to kick off Franco-American Heritage Day in the Maine Senate. At the start of session, singer Melanie Saucier of Fort Kent performed the national anthems of France, Canada, and the United States to start.
Throughout the day, a variety of musical groups from around Maine will be performing French Canadian and Franco-American music in the Hall of Flags.
“Franco-American Day is a wonderful tradition at the State House,” said Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, the House chair of the Franco-American Caucus. “We are very pleased that so many Mainers joined us in this joyful celebration. It gives us all – whether we’re of French descent or not – a chance to recognize the contributions of Franco-Americans to Maine’s rich cultural heritage.”
At a press conference in the Hall of Flags, the nominees to the Franco-American Hall of Fame were announced:
Don Cyr of Aroostook County
Doris Belisle-Bonneau of Androscoggin County
George Lamontagne of York County
Joseph Cyr of Penobscot County
Maurice Pelletier of Kennebec County
Roland Ouellete – posthumous
The Cross Cafeteria in the adjacent State Office Building is serving a Franco-American menu and there will be displays from Franco-American organizations throughout the state in the Hall of Flags.
“I’m humbled to serve as Speaker Pro Tem in honor of such an important day,” said State Representative Matt Pouliot of Augusta. “My hope is that people across Maine will take the time to learn more about our state’s rich Franco-American heritage and how it has helped to shape Maine.”