Knox Fest, French edition Aug. 23

Aug 10, 2014
Jimmy Jo and the Jumbol’ Ayuhs will play Saturday, Aug. 23 at the Gen. Henry Knox Museum in Thomaston.

Thomaston — Knox Museum presents KNOXFEST.French Edition Saturday, Aug. 23, from 5 to 9 p.m. on the grounds of Montpelier, the big white house at the turn to St. George in Thomaston.

This year’s KNOXFEST celebrates France’s contribution to helping the U.S.’s early patriots — Henry Knox among them — win their revolution against the British crown, and found this country. Festivities will include a New Orleans-style dinner, Cajun dance band, and special appearance by the Marquis de Lafayette.

John Rowland’s Southern Hospitality Catering of New Orleans will bring some of their most popular dishes to the Thomaston event, including barbecue shrimp and grits, chicken and sausage jambalaya, and grilled Andouille and alligator. Guests will enjoy New Orleans salad, red beans and rice, and Chef Max’s award-winning Crawfish Monica, at five stations located in and around a big tent on Montpelier’s north lawn. Famous desserts Bananas Foster and Mardi Gras King Cake will complete the night’s feast, and a cash bar featuring beer and wine and a special signature cocktail will round out the menu.

Not everyone realizes or remembers that in the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), France fought alongside the United States against Britain. French money, munitions, soldiers and naval forces proved essential to America's victory over the Crown. In 1778 France recognized the United States of America as a sovereign nation, signed a military alliance, went to war with Britain, built coalitions with the Netherlands and Spain that kept Britain without a significant ally of its own, provided the Americans with grants, arms and loans, sent a combat army to serve under George Washington, and sent a navy that prevented the second British Army from escaping from Yorktown in 1781. All told, France sent an estimated 12,000 soldiers and 32,000 sailors to the American war effort, the most famous of whom was the Marquis of Lafayette. He became good friends with American commander in chief George Washington, as well as with Gen. Henry Knox, in the process.

Knox Museum members and event food sponsors Anne Williams and Mary Ann Carey each share ties to New Orleans, and Maine enjoys a strong Franco-American heritage, so honoring the French, and in particular the Acadians — those descendants of 17th-century French colonists who first settled in the Maritime Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island, as well as in Quebec, and in Maine — is a good fit for Knox Museum. Many Acadians were later deported by the British, with many settling in Louisiana and developing what we now call Cajun (‘Cadian) culture.

Musical entertainment at KNOXFEST.French Edition will be provided by Jimmy Jo’ and the Jumbol’ Ayuhs, a band who hails from the “bayous” of coastal Maine, and serves up music from Cajun Louisiana with a Downeast accent. Featuring Jim Joseph on accordion, second fiddle, and vocals, and Pam Weeks on lead fiddle and vocals, the Jumbol’ Ayuhs play lively two-steps and waltzes that keep an audience on its feet all night.

Camden National Bank is KNOXFEST’s corporate sponsor.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for members, and $4 for kids ages 4 to 12, and can be purchased online at knoxmuseum.org or by calling 354-8062 before 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22. Tickets at the door, as available, will be $18 adults, $15 members, and $5 for kids age 4 to 12. Kids under 4 are admitted for free.

For more information call 354-8062 or e-mail info@knoxmuseum.org.

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