Biddo - Heart, Soul and More at Biddeford's Franco-American Cultural Festival


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In Biddeford, Maine, citizens came out to celebrate the La Kermesse Franco-American heritage festival. The event included storytelling activities organized by Heart of Biddeford, kicking off Biddeford's Heart & Soul Community Planning initiative in partnership with the Orton Family Foundation.

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Biddo - Heart, Soul and More at Biddeford's Franco-American Cultural Festival

  1. 1. La Kermesse Festival Biddeford, ME June 25-28, 2009 © 2009 Heart, Soul and more at Biddeford’s Franco-American cultural festival Celebrating a Maine mill town’s past and future
  2. 2. © 2009 Biddeford residents began staking out viewing spots along Main Street hours before the parade marking the start of the La Kermesse Festival. The event also marked the unofficial start of Biddeford’s Heart & Soul Community Planning storytelling events.
  3. 3. <ul><li>Bright red balloons suddenly appeared as the parade proceeded down Main near City Hall. Floats, marchers, and other parade participants honored elements of Biddeford’s heritage as well as its vibrant modern arts community. </li></ul>© 2009
  4. 4. © 2009 La Kermesse is a festival designed to celebrate the Franco-American heritage that still infuses Biddeford today. The Festival’s mascot rode in style down Main Street during the parade.
  5. 5. © 2009 Veterans passed out American flags to children and onlookers along the parade route – one of the few times each year that various communities in Biddeford encounter one another.
  6. 6. © 2009 Heart of Biddeford hosted several events at the Writers Tent at La Kermesse Festival fairgrounds. At the tent, a huge map of downtown let fair-goers identify their favorite places, or “Heart Spots,” scattered throughout Biddeford’s downtown.
  7. 7. <ul><li>Young fair-goers were invited to draw pictures of how they wanted Biddeford to look in the future. </li></ul>© 2009
  8. 8. © 2009 Photographers snapped photos of Biddeford citizens like Police Sargeant Bill Buhizlt holding up signs describing what they love most about the City. The photos will later be displayed on Heart of Biddeford’s website and will become part of the community storytelling project.
  9. 9. © 2009 Shopping, walkable streets and recreation were common themes as more fair-goers stopped at the Heart of Biddeford tent to share what they appreciate about downtown.
  10. 10. © 2009 Heart of Biddeford volunteers (from left) David Flood, David Versel and James Carlisle donned Biddeford storytelling t-shirts and served roast pork at the Brewer’s Fest - an opportunity to connect with the community and spread the word about Heart & Soul.
  11. 11. © 2009 Evening shadows lengthened on the midway at St. Louis Field fairgrounds, marking the close of the 2009 La Kermesse Franco-American Festival, but just the first step of Biddeford’s Heart & Soul Community Planning initiative.
  12. 12. © 2009 Led by the non-profit organization Heart of Biddeford, the Downtown Master Planning Process will engage a diverse cross-section of the community, identify the aspects of Biddeford that matter most to its residents, and honor the City’s past while building a vibrant future. The annual La Kermesse festival kicked off a series of storytelling initiatives to help identify the values of Biddeford’s citizens, which will in turn inform the new Downtown Master Plan and a series of actions to help achieve Biddeford’s vision for the future. Visit to learn more about Biddeford and our other Heart & Soul Community Planning projects.