Carnaval de St. Isidore spotlights francophone culture

Roger Dallaire entertained the crowd with his music and his humour as an announcer at the Carnaval.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Francophone culture was centre stage at the 38th annual Carnaval de St. Isidore on Feb. 14-16.

A variety of activities and colourful entertainers were featured in and around the St. Isidore Cultural Centre organized by the Society of the Culture Community Centre.

“Invasion des Emojis” was the theme for 2020.

“We had over 500 students during the school day and over 1,200 people during the weekend,” says Rachelle Bergeron, a member of the organizing committee.

“Although attendance was down from last year, the event was still a big success.”

Winter activities, entertainment, horse-drawn sleigh rides and outdoor fun were part of the weekend.

“Snow sculptures, competitions, shows, maple snow taffy and new games were the big highlights for the crowds,” Bergeron says.

Enthusiasm was still high despite frigid temperatures around -22C.

“The weather being cold and snowy, people were bundled up, moving about a lot, but still enjoyed all the activities, competitions and entertainment,” Bergeron says.

“We thankfully got enough snow to have as many sculptures as usual.”

The winner of the professional snow-sculpture competition was Charles Henzler followed by Mike Russel in second.

A Peace River team of Trinity Thompson, Kaylyn Rushfeldt and Tyrus McPhee too home third prize.

Royalty was also crowned.

Mia Maisonneuve, of Guy, was honoured as Carnaval Queen (Duchess) and Samuel Velie, of St. Isidore, was King (Duc).

Other fun contests were held.

Danny Monfette won the beard-growing competition, followed by Julien Lavoie in second and Jean Luc Boulianne in third.

Armande Lavoie won the crib tournament.

Denis Boulianne and Fréderic Bergeron were the champions in the bocci tournament.

Corey Lavoie and Edouard Bergeron won the whistling competition.

Denis Belzile and Marc Belzile were a cut above the rest in the pairs’ log-sawing competition.

Organizers say the event is growing more popular.

“The Carnaval has built an amazing reputation over the years with its unique francophone cultural and community-based program,” Bergeron says.

“The successful formula of music, dance, art, theatre, plus great winter activities and competitions appeal to people of all ages.”

She says the Carnaval includes influences from beyond St. Isidore as organizers invite schools and youth from all over the region to take part in the program, as well as local and non-local artists.

Organizers extend a big thanks all the volunteers, visitors and participants from all over the region and Alberta.

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