The ployes, the people, the music…it’s all part of Fort Kent’s annual Sucrerie. A longtime tradition that brings folks from all over the St John Valley together to celebrate maple sugaring and Acadian heritage.
“To keep it alive..to know where our roots are and where were headed,” said Delores Dumond.
“I wave to everyone and come over and say hi and they do the same, and it’s a fun event,” said Pat Dow of Fort Kent.
UMFK’s Nowland Hall certainly wasn’t without a shortage of food – the traditional Acadian meal included glazed ham, baked beans, mashed turnips and carrots , and treats so good you just couldn’t say no!
“Nothing would take me away from here,” said Rita Bouchard of Fort Kent.
“I’m from New Jersey so we don’t have anything like that down there …it’s delicious,” said UMFK student Mark Olson.
And what’s an Acadian meal without ployes? Janice Bouchard of Bouchard Family Farms spent hours making them.
“They don’t just eat one or two..if there’s a stack they eat the whole thing, so I guess I gotta keep making more,” said Bouchard.
The good thing about getting snow on the first day of spring is that it makes for some fresh powder for the maple sugar taffy – for a lot of people their favorite part is coming out and making this dessert on a stick and enjoying it.
“It’s maple it’s sweet it’s chewy..couldn’t be any better,” said UMFK president Wilson Hess.
“It’s tasty..it’s very good..it’s once a year, so its nice,” said Lucille Audibert.
“I just wanted to taste it..brings back memories,”
So whether this day was about catching up with old friends, celebrating culture, or making sweets in the snow, these folks left campus with full bellies, happy hearts, and a nice sugar rush. Hess says this is a tradition that has gone on for a decade.