Chautauqua and French-Canadian/Metis Festival returning August 27-29

Times Report
Crookston Times

After a one-year hiatus, the Chautauqua and French-Canadian/Metis Festival is returning to Old Crossing and Treaty Park near Huot, Minn. Festivities begin Friday, August 27 at 6:30 p.m. with a potluck picnic followed by a bonfire, singing by Don Schmitz and storytelling.

The Chautauqua and French-Canadian/Metis Festival will celebrate history, culture and camaraderie at Old Crossing and Treaty Park. The park is located on County Road 11 approximately 20 miles northeast of Crookston. 

The Ivan Flett Memorial Dancers will highlight this year’s festival. The dancers will perform in the big tent at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 28 and 29.   The group from Manitoba combines traditional Red River Jig dances and modern hip-hop jigs.

Poitin, a band from the Fargo/Moorhead area, will entertain with a blend of Irish, Celtic, French-Canadian and Metis music. Poitin (pronounced pah-CHEEN) will perform on Aug. 28and 29 at 1 p.m.  

Storyteller and author Jan Smith of Clitherall will be on stage at 2 p.m. both days. Her topics will be “Midwifery and Early Medical Techniques.” Smith, a retired English and speech teacher, has written and published eight books on Red River Valley history, and spends her time public speaking, storytelling, writing and paper cutting.

Saturday will close out with Mass at 5 p.m.

On Sunday, at 12:30 p.m. AFRAN President Virgil Benoit will give a welcome.

Throughout the weekend, artists and artisans will demonstrate wood working, carving and broom making, plus there will also be children’s activities.  Food, including French Festival specialties such a Tourtiere (meat pie) and bread made in the earth oven, will be available. Silent auctions will be held Saturday and Sunday. 

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

The annual event is sponsored by AFRAN (Association of the French of the North.) Visit www/French/CanadianAFRAM/org for more information on the Chautauqua and Festival or contact Virgil Benoit at 218-253-2270 or Jerry Amiot at 218-289-8889.

Storyteller Jan Smith will present at Chautauqua