La Kermesse FestivalPosted on: June 24th, 2011 by Ray Deleo
In 1982 Joseph Plamondon and his wife Mignonne attended the Festival de Joie, an annual Franco-American festival, in Lewiston. While driving back to Biddeford, Joe began talking to Mignonne about his dream of having a festival similar to Lewiston’s in Biddeford. Within a few weeks, Joe had assembled family members, friends and interested Biddeford citizens in planning a festival which would take place in the summer of 1983. The group organized entertainment, a parade, bean supper, etc. The main focus was of course fundraising. They held yard sales, raffles etc. to raise the necessary funds to put on the festival. In the spring of 1983 a few weeks before the scheduled event, Joe passed away. The dedicated volunteers, including his wife, children and friends, were determined that the festival would take place. And so in 1983 the 1st La Kermesse Festival was held and what a success it was. We thank the founding members and all the past members of La Kermesse for their pride and determination in making the last 25 festivals a success and we look forward to another great festival as we celebrate our 26th festival.
La Kermesse starts Friday night with a parade scheduled to step off at 6:30 at the corner of Main and Beach streets in Saco and wind its way across the river to Biddeford City Hall. Opening ceremonies will follow from 7 to 7:30 in the main festival tent. A pig roast begins at 7 p.m. Friday musical performances in the main tent include Famille LeBlanc. La Kermesse Idol and Contagious.
On the outdoor stage, Lawton will perform followed by Breakthrough Crafter tables and food vendors also will be open. The festival continues Saturday with field games for children Hoopalula, and various trampoline exhibitions by Dudziak’s Gymnasium Saturday entertainment under the main tent includes Steppin’ Out Dance Centre a puppet show by Dick Coffin and Rick Charette. The La Kermesse Idol contest continues followed by Zumba with Intensity Fitness Dance Studio. Dick Coffin will take the stage to do impersonations. Chantel Et Marcel avec Les Filles will be featured and followed by Famille LeBlanc The La Kermesse Idol finals are scheduled followed by Corona Brothers. An all-you-can-eat bean supper will be served from for $7. Other activities available through the day include face painting, rides, food vendors and crafts. Instead of carnival rides, the festival will offer a variety of bounce houses, a special trampoline and rock wall. Saturday’s festivities will be capped with a fireworks display at 9:30 p.m.
La Kermesse wraps up Sunday with a religious service from 9 to 10 a.m. and a crepe breakfast from 10 a.m. to noon. Closing ceremonies with a performance from the St. Louis Alumni Band will take place 11 a.m. to noon. La Kermesse advance tickets are $8 for Friday and Saturday. Tickets at the gate are $2 per day to walk around or $5 with access to all areas, including the main tent. Entry is free on Sunday. Entrance to the bounce house area will be free throughout the festival. Tickets are available in Biddeford at Ray’s Market, Hannaford, Peoples Choice Credit Union, Shaw’s, Saco-Biddeford Savings Bank, Biddeford Savings Bank, Super Sub Shop, Pool Street Market and Majestic Flowers. They are available in Saco at Hannaford, Shaw’s and Peoples Choice Credit Union