St. Patrick's Day Fêted with a French Flair in Augusta Sunday, March 17, 6 -7:30 p.m. at the Calumet Club in Augusta (334 West River Road): a Franco-Irish St. Patrick's Day Party, featuring old-time fiddle tunes and jigs-&-reels dancing with the Sizzling Shamrocques & Friends. Tickets: $5/$3 students age 5-22 (pre-schoolers free). Doors open at 5:30 for traditional Franco supper & socializing; food & beverages sold separately. For more info or advance reservations, call the Calumet Club at (207) 623-8211. -- -- -- - More Details: The public is invited to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a distinctive French flair at a festive Franco-Irish Soirée planned for Sunday, March 17, at the Calumet Club in Augusta. This family-friendly event features authentic old-time French-Canadian jigs-&-reels music as well as dancing for all ages. The doors will open at 5:15 p.m. for people to socialize over their beverage-of-choice from the bar, or, if they come hungry, to enjoy a classic Franco-American supper of meat pie and pea soup with a choice of whoopie pie or crème roll for dessert. This family-friendly event features authentic old-time French-Canadian jigs-&-reels music as well as dancing for all ages. The doors will open at 5:15 p.m. for people to socialize over their beverage-of-choice from the bar, or, if they come hungry, to enjoy a classic Franco-American supper of meat pie and pea soup with a choice of whoopie pie or crème roll for dessert. At 6 p.m., the entertainment will kick off with the Sizzling Shamroques performing a mini-concert featuring both French-Canadian and Irish jigs and reels, followed by an hour or more of music for dancing. This sprightly Franco-Celtic ensemble features dynamic 20-year-old fiddler Hannah Rodrigue backed up by guitar/mandolin player Don Cunningham and string bass player Rod Pervier, with Mike Boyd providing a driving Celtic “heartbeat” on the bodhran (Irish hand drum). Dance caller Cindy Larock will lead attendees in a lively assortment of fun and easy French-Canadian-style contra, square and circle dances reminiscent of those done at the house parties which were common on Saturday nights throughout Quebec and in Franco-American communities in Maine until two or three generations ago. Larock is a master dance teacher with the Maine Arts Commission's Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program who learned her craft from noted Quebecois folk musician and dancer Benoit Bourque. She was invited to lead a dance workshop for children enrolled in the Maine French Heritage Program at Hussey and Lincoln Elementary Schools in Augusta last fall, and several of those youngsters are looking forward to demonstrating what they learned at this event on St. Patrick's Day. Calumet Club president Gerry Bechard says “We at the Calumet Club are pleased to be able to host this special multi-cultural event which brings the generations together to enjoy and participate in time-honored Franco-American music and dance traditions while also honoring the spirit of the Irish.” Calumet catering manager Sue Murphy heartily agrees. Quick to point out that her name was Paré before she married local Irishman Patrick Murphy, Sue looks forward to seeing children, parents and grandparents all out on the dance floor together, inspired by the same fiddle tunes that their ancestors jigged to back in Canada 100 or more years ago. “It's guaranteed to be a fun time for all!” she says. Admission to the St. Patrick's Day Soirée is $5 for adults and $3 for students up to age 22, with pre-school children admitted for free. Refreshments will be sold separately. Tickets will be available at the door, or may be reserved in advance by calling the Calumet Club at (207) 623-8211 weekdays between 8 am and 1 pm. The Calumet Club is located at 334 West River Road in Augusta. This St. Patrick's Day celebration was organized in collaboration with the Maine Folque Co-op, a grassroots cultural organization committed to bringing the generations together through traditional music and dance reflecting multiple ethnic backgrounds. Proceeds from this event will support the group's ongoing efforts to bring the French jigs-&-reels to multi-age audiences elsewhere throughout the state, thereby helping to preserve Maine's valued Franco-American heritage for future generations.