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French Heritage Week Includes Honor, Dedication

July 5, 2004 – French Heritage Week is bigger and better this year. Actually, this is easy to say because last year's was a bust. Sen. Lorraine Berry, said at the time, "The administration said that they had no money; so, we decided to cancel it."
The government's coffers must look healthier this year, despite the dreary news coming out of the Senate Finance Committee budget hearings.
In any event, the 2004 celebration has events spanning 10 days. It concludes with the opening of the Frenchtown Heritage Museum on July 17, the same day the Frenchtown Civic Organization will celebrate Bastille Day. All the events are open to the public.
The celebration starts on July 8 when Berry will receive an international honor. French President Jacques Chirac has awarded the prestigious medal of the Ordre National Du Merite to Berry for her contributions to the promotion of French culture in the territory.
Christophe Bouchard, the consul general of France in Miami, will present the medal at 6 p.m. at the Emerald Beach Hotel, said Odile de Lyrot, event hostess and head of the local Friends of French Culture, which is hosting the event. De Lyrot is the honorary consul of France.
The annual Bastille Day King Fish tournament runs from 5 a.m. to noon at Hull Bay on July 11, sponsored by the Northside Sports Fishing Club. The Northside Civic Association will sponsor a Family Fun Day, with music by the Cool Session Brass until 5 p.m., followed by the Sea Breeze Band from 5 p.m. on. Fishing tournament awards presentations get under way at 8 p.m. at the Hull Bay Hideaway.
Local French musicians will be honored at Government House on Bastille Day, July 14, with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. It is billed as a legislative/executive observation of French Heritage Week.
Among the musical groups – home bands, scratch bands – recognized will be the Carenage Troubadours from Frenchtown, which featured the late Sebastian Greaux playing the tambourine; the Drifting Buckeroos, with Edwin and Hank Quetel and Pete Ledee; and the Mountain Kings, with Cyril Querrard, Viggo Niles and others.
Greaux's tambourine, in fact, will be one of the exhibits in the Frenchtown Heritage Museum.
The Frenchtown Civic Organization has been celebrating Bastille Day for the past 40 years and has moved the celebration from the traditional date of July 14 to July 17 to coincide with the museum dedication ceremony. The ceremony begins at 2 p.m. An open-air concert by the V. I. National Guard will follow the dedication ceremonies, with the Sea Breeze band playing after 5 p.m. for dancing. Lots of food and drink will be available, as usual.
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