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Les Rats d'Swompe, recent winners of CMAOntario's Francophone artist of the Year Award, will perform at the Alfred 150e festival. Submitted photo

Alfred 150e festival to feature four days of music and celebration from September 16-19

After a two-month delay, Alfred’s 150e festival in celebration of Saint-Victor Parish will finally take place from September 16 to 19, with four days of music and celebration in the village

The festival is being held  in honor of the historic Saint-Victor Parish, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2021. The event includes live music on all four days, entertainment and children’s activities.

The celebrations get underway on September 10 and 11, as a softball tournament and local farm visit kick off events in preparation for the large celebration planned the following week.

“Right now, we are at Stage 3 with the (COVID-19) public health measures, so we should be able to hold all of our activities, with distancing and the proper regulations in place,” said France Lamarche, president of the organizing committee for Alfred 150e.

A Facebook page Alfred Je t’aime has been created. The event also has a webpage, which lists all of the activities planned over the four-day festival.

On Friday, September 10, Alfred 150e events will start off with the Community Softball Tournament, which will run through Saturday. Also on Saturday, the Ferme NormLyne on Bolt Road in Alfred will host a Plowing Day from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m.

But the big celebrations in Alfred are planned from September 16 to 19.

Thursday evening will see musician and animator Louis Seguin perform, beginning at 7 p.m. On Friday evening singer Maxime Carriere will perform at 8 p.m. Singer-songwriter Steven Levac will be joined onstage by special guest Elizabeth Blouin Braithwaite at 8:45 p.m. and the country artist Damien Maze will close the show with a performance beginning at 9:30 p.m.

Saturday night’s concerts are the highlight of the weekend, featuring two Franco-Ontarien artists who have received acclaim in 2021. Melissa Ouimet hits the stage at 7:45, while Country Music Association Ontario Franco Ontarien Artist of the Year Les Rats d’Swompe will perform beginning at 9 p.m.

Sunday’s activities will begin at 10:30 a.m. with a Catholic Mass hosted by Saint-Victor Parish to be held under the tent at Larocque Park. The weekend will wrap up with the Alfred 150e Parade beginning at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday.

The 150th anniversary celebration had originally been planned for the Saint-Jean-Baptiste weekend in June, but had to be pushed back to September due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers held a small celebration and a parade in June.

Over the summer, volunteers from the Alfred 150e organizing committee were also busy beautifying the village, engaging 35 local artists to paint dozens of flower barrels – each with a specific theme. The centre square of the village has also been upgraded, with ‘ALFRED’ spelled out in large block letters, and flower boxes added to each corner.

The organizing committee for Alfred 150e has received a great deal of positive feedback on the artwork project, Lamarche said.

More information on all of the Alfred 150e celebrations can be found on the Alfred Je t’aime Facebook page and through the Alfred 150e webpage . Lamarche said those who are attending the Alfred 150e events should keep watching the Facebook page for updates on events and public health regulations.

 

Reid Masson

Reid Masson is a graduate of Algonquin College's Journalism Program. He has over 20 years of experience as a staff writer and editor for various newspapers across Canada, including The Ottawa Citizen and Brockville Recorder and Times.

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