AUGUSTA — Soft brown sugar melted into the butter atop the golden brown crepes.

Syrup sweetened the concoction even more.

The crepe station was the first and one of the most popular stops along a cafeteria style line under the food tent at Le Festival de la Bastille on Saturday.

Then there was the savory salmon pie, the tortiere (meat pie), the dark red boudin (blood sausage) and the side dishes of beets and french fries (with or without gravy.)

Henry Roy, a towel draped around his neck, supervised the dozen or so kitchen staff.

“We came in Thursday morning and started setting the kitchen up,” he said. There were grills, ovens, stoves, a refrigerator, fryolator and even a freezer or two, as well as a cold drinks station.

The cooks and assistants worked 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., with some extra time for cleaning each day.

Roy said he and Norman Tondreau, who was creating crepes, had been at every Bastille Day festival held by Le Club Calumet. Crowds in the early years reached some 10,000, Roy said.

On Saturday diners could hear the music from an even larger tent, where the lineup for the festival talent show included Janine Audet, offering a rendition of “Mein Herr,” and Nicole Stein tap-dancing to the tune of “Do You Want to Dance?” while keeping a hula hoop swirling.

The tent, filled with lines of long tables and chairs was fairly full for a hot, muggy afternoon.

“The attendance is slightly down, but everyone here is really enjoying themselves,” said Pat Murphy. He and his wife, Sue, served as chairpersons for the club’s 18th festival.

It is now celebrated every other year.

Saturday morning events featured games for children, including a rubber ducky fishing derby that several adults found too hard to pass up.

The three-day event kicked off Friday evening and included with a firework display.

The festival, organized by Le Club Calumet, continues today until 3:30 p.m. at Pete Gagne Memorial Field on Old Belgrade Road.

There will be a chicken barbecue from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and music by Hert LeBlanc and Les Famille Deux.

Admission is $5 per person, and minibuses make frequent runs to shuttle festival-goers between the club’s parking lot on West River Road and the nearby festival grounds.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

 

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