The major Acadian celebrations of 2019 will continue until the end of the summer—from August 28 to September 1—when the 117th edition of the Evangeline Area Agricultural Exhibition and the 49th edition of its Acadian Festival will be held in Abram-Village, PEI.
But why so many celebrations? “Our theme this year explains it very clearly. We are Deeply Rooted in l’Acadie. We are so proud of our roots, our culture, our heritage and our language that it is impossible for us not to celebrate them,”” says Jeanne Gallant, president of the Exhibition and Festival.
Traditional hosts, Évangéline and Gabriel, played by Blair and Angela (Pendergast) Arsenault this year, will be honored to welcome the thousands of expected guests.
Music, song and dance—both traditional and modern—will be prominently featured during the festival. Suroît, from the Magdalen Islands, will play at the bedeviling party of the “Djâble dans l’corps” Friday, August. 30. For the Évangéline and Gabriel Dance Saturday, August 31, the Acadian band Réveil from New Brunswick will be featured for a 12th consecutive year. Concerts and musical talent competitions of all kinds will be staged throughout the long weekend event. Particular emphasis will be placed on young artists and groups, such as Paloudes, i7 and Quoi de neuf? Gadelle will also perform on Saturday afternoon on the main stage. On Sunday afternoon participants will be treated to the fiddling and stepdancing show. That evening, the closing show, with the theme “L’Acadie Is My Home,” will offer a retrospective of the year’s musical and theatrical achievements.
Comedian-juggler Patchouko (Gilles Villeneuve) from Quebec will present “Cirqsantrick” shows, crowd animation and circus workshops all weekend.
Jerry Arsenault will present his popular pole-climbing show (with his brother Marcel and his son Jeremy) for the very last time since he has decided to retire. The trio will present two shows of their favorite bits from the last 30 years.
The parade of fishing boats and mass at sea will take place at the Egmont Bay Wharf on Sunday morning. The parade of floats, marching bands, clowns and entries will follow in the early afternoon. Historian Georges Arsenault will deliver two talks over the weekend.
The woodsmen competitions will be back; in a related event, members of the public will have the opportunity to practice throwing axes in a trailer from Axes, Eh? Mobile Axe Throwing. The weekend will feature the return of the fishermen’s competition, the Acadie Fit Challenge, relay races, boot-throwing competitions, fish line casting competitions, a turnip bowling competition, the Clammin N’ Jammin competition, a lobster-eating competition, a horse pull, a cow-milking competition, an all-terrain vehicle competition, and the list goes on.
The evaluation of livestock, horses and ponies, poultry, various other animals and of a wide array of other categories (grains, roots, vegetables, fruits, flowers, arts, crafts, domestic sciences) will take place mainly on Friday and Saturday. The PEI Provincial Holstein Show is expected to attract a lot of attention. A turkey parade and showmanship competition promises to be interesting.
The Evangeline Region Agricultural Exhibition has been selected to host the provincial 4-H Dairy Competition. The winning cattle will qualify for the national Royal 4-H Show in Toronto.