ABRAM-VILLAGE, P.E.I. - Under the theme “Lots to Celebrate, the bilingual Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival will feature a wide variety of talent, a huge array of entertainment and competitions (including several new ones) as well as a large number of popular events that people expect every year this summer.
President of the Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival of the Evangeline Region, Jeanne Gallant says this year’s festival will be “one of the best yet” and the theme ‘Lots to Celebrate’ fits well “since we’ll soon be welcoming 50 plus Acadian Games and the 2019 World Acadian Congress onto our grounds.”
She continued, “We’re feeling boundless energy in our community these days as we prepare for these major celebrations of our culture, our traditions and our Acadian language. So, we will do everything we can to kick off this year of festivities will lots of gusto.
“We’ll offer a combination of new events, as well as plenty of favorite activities that people have come to expect.”
Laurie Leblanc, a talented country singer from New Brunswick, will return at “Le Djâble dans l’corps” Acadian soirée on Friday at the Evangeline Recreation Centre.
The following night at the Evangeline and Gabriel Dance, the popular group Réveil will get everyone dancing for the 11th consecutive year. Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m., Réveil will also provide a brief family dancing interlude called “Dansez avec Réveil.”
This year’s edition of the Exhibition and Festival runs from Wednesday, August 29, to Sunday, September 2.
The weekend’s shows are as follows:
- On Saturday and Sunday, a troupe of gymnasts-acrobats from Quebec called The Gym Masters, will be back to give four shows and a workshop
- Sunday afternoon the intelligent fly dogs return to entertain the crowd with their numerous tricks
- Twice on Friday, the young magician Jérémie Buote of Rustico will amaze young and old
- On both Sunday and Sunday afternoon, pole climbers Jerry, Marcel and Jeremy Arsenault will be up to their usual comedic and acrobatic antics as they combine their show with a woodsmen competition
- Thursday evening the ‘Acazing Talent Competition’ returns with cash prizes presented to winners in three age categories
- On the mainstage Friday afternoon, the provincial finals of the P.E.I. Mutual Youth Talent Contest will kick off right after the official opening ceremonies
- The band 112 Accords and the Haché Family will play on the mainstage Saturday afternoon. And outside Éloizes will play Friday afternoon, and Les Paloudes the following afternoon
- A fiddling concert will take its place of honor on the mainstage Sunday afternoon
- Theme for the Sunday night closing show will be “Let’s Celebrate our Families and Traditions.” It will feature several local family groups, followed by the presentation of the Acadian of the Year Award and the Young Acadian of the Year Award.
- Music by Tyler’s DJ will kick off the new events on Wednesday night with a family dance (for young and old) at the nearby Club 50 at 6:30 p.m., followed by a teen dance (13 to 18 years) at 8:30 p.m.
- Throughout the weekend the “Ultimate Virtual Reality Experiences” will be presented in the community room on the second floor of the rink
- On Friday starting at 10:30 a.m., Bricks 4 Kidz P.E.I. will provide a play area featuring Lego blocks for children
- An obstacle course race for five-person teams (featuring two adults, two teens and another person) will join the fun weekend activities called, Défi Acadie Fit
- Historian Georges Arsenault will give two historic presentations in the Founders’ Hall on past exhibitions Saturday at 1:30 p.m., and later the same day at 3:30 p.m. on the origins and impact of the Acadian Festival.
- On Friday night at the Acadian Musical Village, the Festin Acadien avec Homard (Acadian Feast with Lobster) will again focus on the popular personality from the television Food Network show, Chef Danny Smiles. The group Les Paloudes will provide the evening musical entertainment, and tickets are now on sale
- The fishing boat parade and mass will be held at the Cape Egmont Wharf on Sunday at 9:30 a.m.
- On Sunday at 1 p.m. get ready for the parade
- Renowned contests for tossing the boot (for youth and adults), peeling potatoes, eating lobster, knitting, milking cows, casting a fish line and bowling with turnips will continue to entertain the crowds and offer interesting prizes
- The judging of cattle, various other animals, including a vast array of agricultural and handcraft categories will take place primarily on Friday and Saturday. The turkey parade will be held on Friday at 1 p.m., and promises to be quite interesting
- Pony rides and inflatable bouncers will provide lots of enjoyment for young children
- Friday is designated as Children’s Day, but pre-school and school-aged children (accompanied by an adult) will be admitted free both Friday and Saturday
- The regular bingo, which used to be held in a tent, will be presented in the Acadian Musical Village Saturday and in La Grange à Ti-Manuel Sunday.
- The Cow Patty Bingo, culinary and handcraft demonstrations, relay races, the Acadian Festival Road Race, the horse pulls, the ATV pulls, and the sale of handcrafts complete the fully-loaded program.
For more information on the festival go to www.expositionfestival.ca.