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News Feature

Originally published in Castine Patriot, June 29, 2017
Castine to celebrate Bastille Day

2016 Bastille Day event

Historical re-enactor Ken Hamilton outlines the history of the Baron in Castine to visitors at a 1696 French encampment at the Wilson Museum during the 2016 Bastille Day event.

Photo by Anne Berleant Order prints of selected PBP photos.

Castine will host its third annual Bastille Day celebration on Friday, July 14.

This family event takes place on the French national holiday and encourages visitors from near and far to experience Franco-American and Native American cultures through music, food, lectures, children’s activities, and kayak and lighthouse tours. Castine traces its French heritage to the Baron de St. Castin. His marriage to Wabanaki Chief Madockawando’s daughter permanently linked the French and Native American cultures, according to a news release.

The day’s activities begin with a French toast breakfast. Mid-morning will thrill the children with Disney characters, a mime and cake decorating on the common. The morning will also feature historic lectures designed to satisfy history buffs. For the more adventurous, kayaking and historic walking tours will get you moving or, later in the afternoon, climb the 52 steps to the top of Dyce Head Lighthouse. Learn the art of French cooking during the noontime chef’s demonstration with a taste of fresh sea scallops. Festival goers will be encouraged to wear white to the late afternoon “Picnic en Blanc” where they will be seated at long white tables near Town Hall, under the elms, while listening to Franco-American music and watching jugglers and stilt walkers.

Select a designer picnic from local purveyors or bring your own. Activities allow you to take in the sights of Castine, including tasting hand-cranked ice cream and enjoying a history at the Wilson Museum.

The French celebration experience continues with a summer evening concert on the town Common by the Castine Town Band. The evening ends with the popular, high energy, Acadian Aces at the Town Dock.

A French wine tasting on will take place on Thursday afternoon, and a 5K and 10K road race will be held Saturday morning.

This event is hosted by the Town of Castine and the Bastille Day Celebration Committee. For more information, contact Pat Bishop at 326-0909 or