Coat­i­cook wel­comes Town­ship­pers this Satur­day

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Coat­i­cook

Coat­i­cook’s down­town, where many of the T-Day ac­tiv­i­ties are tak­ing place, re­ceived an im­pres­sive makeover in the last year, com­plete with cob­ble­stone side­walks, gran­ite bor­ders and lovely lamp­posts.

T- Day is com­ing to Coat­i­cook this Satur­day and the town is ready! Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion has teamed up with the town of Coat­i­cook’s 150th Cel­e­bra­tion com­mit­tee to put on one of the big­gest Town­ship­pers’ Day ever to cel­e­brate not only the host town’s his­toric birth­day, but also the Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion’s 35th an­niver­sary. T-Day runs from 9:00 am to about 5:00 in the af­ter­noon, but many will un­doubt­edly stick around town for sup­per and re­turn to the Coat­i­cook Gorge for the wildly pop­u­lar Foresta Lu­mina. Visi­tors to T-Day are en­cour­aged to drive straight to the La Frontal­iere high school, on St. Paul Est, to park their cars and then take a shut­tle bus to the ac­tiv­i­ties. There will be hand­i­capped park­ing avail­able at the Pav­il­lon des Arts et Cul­ture, on Welling­ton Street.

“It is the first time that we are host­ing Town­ship­pers’ Day and we are very, very anx­ious to open our doors to ev­ery­one! Every­one is wel­come and most of the events are free, ex­cept for buy­ing food. We also hope that our lo­cal pop­u­la­tion will come out to the event and re-dis­cover their home­town!” com­mented Em­i­lie Drouin, the co­or­di­na­tor of Coat­i­cook’s 150th cel­e­bra­tion.

The ac­tion will take place on six dif­fer­ent sites around the beau­ti­ful town with free shut­tle buses avail­able through­out the day even though most of the sites are within a rea­son­able walk­ing dis­tance. The five sites lo­cated around the down­town area are: the Pav­il­lon des Arts et Cul­ture on Welling­ton Street, where the Open­ing Cer­e­mony will take place; Parc Chartier, on Child Street across from the Town Hall; the Beaulne Mu­seum on Union Street; Ecole Gen­dreau on Cut­ting

Street; and the Bi­b­lio­theque Fran­coise-Mau­rice de Coat­i­cook, on Main Street. The names alone of those streets show how im­por­tant the English com­mu­nity was in the found­ing of this now pre­dom­i­nantly Fran­co­phone town, some­thing the So­ci­ete d’his­toire et de pat­ri­moine de Coat­i­cook will no doubt ex­plore in the spe­cial ex­hi­bi­tion they are putting on in the Fran­coise-Mau­rice li­brary for the oc­ca­sion.

The sixth T-Day site is down at the Gorge de Coat­i­cook where mem­bers of the Weetchumpee Com­mu­nity will set up a na­tive vil­lage com­plete with teepees, na­tive Amer­i­can food tast­ings, sa­cred cer­e­monies and cel­e­bra­tions. There will be ac­tiv­i­ties for chil­dren as well. There will be spe­cial, white shut­tle buses tak­ing vis­i­tors from the other sites down­town and from the main T-Day park­ing area, lo­cated at La Frontal­iere high school, to the Gorge.

The Open­ing Cer­e­mony will kick off the day at 10:00 in the Pav­il­lon des Arts et Cul­ture and will in­clude the Out­stand­ing Town­ship­pers Awards and the pre­sen­ta­tion of Young Town­ships Lead­ers. “For our 35th an­niver­sary we’ll be launch­ing a spe­cial edi­tion, Tap­root V, at the Pav­il­lon des Arts at 11:15, af­ter the Open­ing Cer­e­mony. It will be a proper book launch with wine and nib­bles, live mu­sic with Ju­lia Ro­han, and it will be em­ceed by CBC’s Su­san Camp­bell,” ex­plained Kate Hol­brook of the Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion. A few of the 28 con­tribut­ing writ­ers, such as Ross Mur­ray, David Gos­selin and Tri­cia McDaid, will read their pieces dur­ing the launch. “It will be a joy­ful cel­e­bra­tion of all these writ­ers. Tap­root is a col­lec­tion of po­ems, prose and pho­to­graphs and it has al­ways been edited by Brenda Hartwell who does a fan­tas­tic job,” she added.

The af­ter­noon line-up of free en­ter­tain­ment at the Pav­il­lon, be­gin­ning at 1:00 pm, is the hi­lar­i­ous Ma­gi­cian Ry-Guy, a mul­ti­cul­tural choir, fol­lowed by the Mike Goudreau Trio at 3:00. A huge Si­lent Auc­tion will also be set up at this site.

The sweet sounds of the Har­monie de Coat­i­cook will fill the air at Parc Chartier where there will also be food and re­fresh­ments and demon­stra­tions by the Rain­bow Coun­try Clog­gers. It will be free to visit the Beaulne Mu­seum, where there are sev­eral art ex­hibits and an ex­hi­bi­tion around women’s fash­ion, but if you would like to in­dulge in a ‘High Tea’ ser­vice on the Chateau Nor­ton’s ex­pan­sive ve­randa, you’ll have to make reser­va­tions first by call­ing 819 849-6560.

Sixty ex­hibitors and ar­ti­sans will set up shop in Ecole Gen­dreau, just around the cor­ner from the Mu­seum. The school’s new play­ground will be open for chil­dren to run around in. Chil­dren can also take part, just a few steps away from the school, in a free English story-telling at the Fran­coise-Mau­rice li­brary at 11:00 am, as long as they are reg­is­tered first by call­ing 819 849-4013.

“This won’t be your av­er­age T-Day so peo­ple should re­ally plan what they want to do. It will be very in­trigu­ing and a real dis­cov­ery of Coat­i­cook. This year we have no big tent be­cause many of the ac­tiv­i­ties will be in­doors, in heated ar­eas, so we should be fine rain or shine. I’ve been work­ing with Coat­i­cook for a year and they have been very friendly, re­ally open to re­ceiv­ing vis­i­tors. It’s such a beau­ti­ful town and there is so much to do there, T-Day will be like a ‘taste’ of the town and then peo­ple will come back,” con­cluded Ms. Hol­brook.

photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

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