AUGUSTA — Maine Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap says new commemorative license plates marking next year’s World Acadian Congress are now available for purchase.

They are the first commemorative plates produced by the state since the United States celebrated its Bicentennial in 1976.

In 2014, the World Acadian Congress will be hosted by the international region known as Acadia of the Lands and Forests, which incorporates the northernmost part of Maine, as well as northwestern New Brunswick and southeastern Quebec.

The World Acadian Congress is held every five years in a region of the world inhabited by Acadians. It draws more than 50,000 visitors from 44 countries and has an economic impact that exceeds $50 million.

The plates are available for sale at participating credit unions throughout Maine.

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