Monday, July 22, 2024
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Syrup competition, boat parade, new features of this year’s Saint-Jean celebrations

Quebec’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day, celebrated every year on June 24, is just around the corner.
Pontiacers keen to take part in the province’s national holiday have at least two good options for local festivities.
On Calumet Island, the municipality’s recreation committee is hosting its seventh annual Saint-Jean party this Sunday, June 23.
Tyler Lasalle, committee member and the leader of this year’s organizing team, said the municipality puts on the event every year because of the island’s French heritage.
“Calumet Island is mainly a French-speaking community,” he said, noting many towns in the area opt to celebrate Canada Day instead of Saint-Jean-Baptiste.
But Lasalle emphasized this event is for everyone.
“We celebrate the thing that unites us together — being from Quebec.”
This year, the festivities feature live music from local musicians, fireworks, and animals for the kids to pet and see.
But Tyler added a new event to the schedule this year — a maple syrup contest. He got the idea at home trying to think what they could do differently this year.
Given the large number of producers on the island, it seemed like a natural fit. Five different local producers will participate in this year’s inaugural maple syrup contest.
The event will take place at 138 chemin des Outaouais, with activities and entertainment running from 12 p.m. until the fireworks show at 10:15 p.m.
In Fort Coulonge, Le Patro de Fort-Coulonge/Mansfield will be hosting several hours of celebratory fun on Monday, June 24.
Stéphanie Turner is the community worker and coordinator at Le Patro in Fort Coulonge, and she’s one of the organizers for this year’s Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day events.
“It’s an event that celebrates Quebec in general,” she said. “It’s an event that anyone can come and enjoy — children, adults, we have stuff for everyone.”
The celebration starts at noon with music, splash pads, bouncy castles, cotton candy, ice cream, a bar and a canteen.
At 1 p.m. the first annual boat parade will take place. Turner says people can still register for this event until Friday.
At 2 p.m. there will be performances from a clown and a magician, and at 3:30 p.m. the director of Le Patro, Suzie Lavigne will get up on stage to deliver a speech about the history and tradition of the holiday.
The event will wrap up at 4 p.m.

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