A Manitoba champion fiddler will be playing at the Chautauqua and French festival at Old Crossing and Treaty Park near Huot, Minn.

    A Manitoba champion fiddler will be playing  at the Chautauqua and French Festival at Old Crossing and Treaty Park near Huot, Minn.

    Michael Audette, 19, and his band will be on stage Saturday, Aug., 24, at 1 p.m. At 9 p.m., he will play for a dance at The Spot in Red Lake Falls. On Sunday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m. Audette and the band will again take to the stage at the park.

    Audette, who has been playing the fiddle since he was four, has become one of Manitoba’s most popular young Metis fiddlers. In 2008 and 2009, he was named Manitoba’s Champion in open competition in Portage La Prairie.

    On Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Greg Gagnon, who was a member in the University of North Dakota Department of Indian Studies, will talk about the treaties and stories of Native Americans.

    The Asham Stompers, a dance troupe from Manitoba, will be performing Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m.

    At 3 p.m. Saturday, Bobby Whitefeather of Ponemah will talk about Native American history.

    Explorer and map maker Joseph Nicollet (1786-1843) will be brought to life by Minnesota History Center player Eric Knutson in the main tent at 3:45 p.m. Saturday and 3:15 Sunday.

    On Sunday, sideline tours will be offered in Gentilly. Breakfast will be at 7:30 at the Snow Sled Inn.

    At 8:30 a.m., there will be a prairie tour led by Greg Benoit and at 9:30 a tour of St. Peter’s Church led by Jane Vigness. Mass will be at 10:30 at the church.

    Throughout the weekend, there will be arts and crafts displays, activities for children, food and silent auctions.

    Admission is free and the public is welcome to all events in the park.

    The Old Crossing and Treaty Park is on Red Lake Co. Road 3 and seven miles northeast of Gentilly on County Road 11 or 10 miles southwest of Red Lake Falls.

    For more information on the Chautauqua and French Festival at Huot, MN., contact Jerry Amiot at 218-289-8889 or Virgil Benoit at 218-253-2270.

    All programs and activities at the park are appropriate for families.
    All of the activities are free but donations of any size are welcome to cover the costs of the festival.

    This activity is funded, in part, by a grant from the Northwest Minnesota Arts Council and the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature from the vote on Nov. 4, 2008.

    Friday, Aug. 23 – 9 p.m., bonfire, songs and storytelling with Bob Vaudrin and Dan Schmitz

    Saturday, Aug. 24 – 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. French food specialities
    11 a.m. – Jean Amiot Schindler’s family album with Virgil Benoit   
    11:45 a.m. – “Treaties and Stories of the Original People” with Greg Gagnon, professor of Indian Studies at UND
    12:30 p.m. – Welcome by AFRAN President Virgil Benoit
    1 p.m. – Michael Audette and Band
    2 p.m. – Asham Stompers, Manitoba dance troupe
    3 p.m. – Bobby White­feather of Ponemah
    3:45 p.m. –  Joseph Nicollet, explorer and map maker, portrayed by Eric Knutson
    5 p.m. –  Mass at the Shrine of our Blessed Mother presided by Msgr. David Baumgartner
    6 p.m. –  AFRAN Supper ($10 donation suggested)
    9 p.m. – Dance at The Spot in Red Lake Falls, music by Michael Audette, Asham Stompers dancing during   breaks

    Sunday, Aug. 25 – 7:30 a.m. breakfast at Snowsled Inn, Gentilly
    8:30 a.m. – Prairie tour with Greg Benoit Prairie tour
    9:30 a.m. – Tour of St. Peter’s Catholic Church
    10:30 a.m. – Mass at St. Peter’s Church
    11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. p.m. –  French festival food specialities
    Noon – Jean Amiot Schindler Family Album with Virgil Benoit and Greg Gagnon
    1 p.m. – Michael Audette and  Band
    2 p.m. – Asham Stompers
    3 p.m. – Greg Gagnon
    3:15 p.m. – Joseph Nicollet portrayal
    Silent auction bids close at 3:45 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday.