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A major event of Manitoba’s Francophonie will celebrate its 125th anniversary in the Rural Municipality of La Broquerie. The Fete de la St. Jean Baptiste was organized for the first time in 1897 and the tradition lives on.
Claude Moquin, Chair of the Board of Directors and the Organizing Committee, explains the importance of this event, which will take place on Saturday, June 25 and Sunday, June 26, 2022: “This celebration is intended to be a large gathering for the Franco-Manitoban community. Of course, there have been years when the celebration could not go on, as during the two world wars, but La Broquerie has always wanted to perpetuate this tradition that means a lot to our village. “
After two years of the festival being very limited because of sanitary restrictions, la Fête de la St. Jean Baptiste will be able to offer this year its usual activities, in person, during a weekend of festivities:
“The celebration takes place over two days,” explains Claude Moquin. On Saturday, we begin with a pancake breakfast, which will be followed by a large baseball tournament where experienced players will compete in mixed teams. “
“All afternoon, beer gardens and food trucks will allow people to refuel and enjoy the tournament. In the evening, starting at 9 p.m., a social dance party is organized at the Habs Bar with the band Under the Sun. A large fireworks display will be presented at 10:45 p.m. to conclude the day. “
On Sunday, two essential activities of the fête will take place during the morning: the Mass of St. Jean, at the Parish of St. Joachim, at 10 a.m., and the great parade of La Broquerie, at 11:30 am. “The parade is probably the most visited event of the St. Jean Baptiste,” notes Claude Moquin. Up to 900 people come to watch our parade of floats. “
On the occasion of the 10th World Family Meeting (RMF), an international event that will take place in Rome, from June 22 to 26, 2022, in the presence of Pope Francis, the parish of St. Joachim invites people to have a family picnic from 12:30 p.m.
“Sunday afternoon is meant to be a family-friendly gathering,” shares Claude Moquin. Activities for children will be offered outdoors, such as inflatable structures and a petting zoo. Children can also go horse driven wagnon rides.
“Inside the HyLife Centre, our hockey arena, Francophone artists will entertain the public,” adds Claude Moquin. We start at 1:30 p.m. with the Cht’kook group, composed of three brothers and sisters. Then, Madame Diva will sing catchy and playful songs for young and old. Mago le Magicien will enchant the children with his tricks of prestidigitation at 4:00 p.m. and, to close the St. Jean Baptiste Celebrations, at 5:15 p.m., Alexandre Tétrault will embark the crowd with his storytelling and fiddle. “
A family baseball tournament will also be held at 2:00 p.m.: “We try to offer activities where the whole family can participate. The St. Jean Baptiste celebrations are free, apart from the Saturday dance party which has a cost of $5. I would really like to thank the governments of Canada and Manitoba, the municipality of La Broquerie and Francofonds for really helping us to offer this event in a free and accessible way. “
“This celebration is truly historic,” says Claude Moquin. It has been organized in our village for 125 years. I think it is one of the only events in Manitoba that has been held for so long. For me, as a native citizen of La Broquerie, I find it important for the life of our municipality to bring the Francophone community to life with this celebration. And then it makes live the organizations and companies of our village. St. Jean Baptiste has a lot of support, and no matter how many people there are, we always want to offer quality. “
Visit the web site of the Fete de la St. Jean Baptiste 2022