A fireworks double-header and a double shot of red hot Cajun/Acadian music await fans of Le Festival de la Bastille this year.

The festival, held every other year by Le Club Calumet, the city’s Franco-American club, is set for the weekend of July 8 and 9.

This year features fireworks both Friday and Saturday night and closing performances each night by C. J. Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band.

“This two-day event allows the member of Le Club Calumet to share their Franco-American traditions of food, fun and music with friends, family, and the community at large,” according to the program for the festival.

Pat Boucher, chairman of the 2016 Festival de la Bastille, had a committee meeting Tuesday night to deal with last minute details, including finalizing arrangements for the club’s festival-themed float that appears in the city’s Fourth of July parade.

“It will have festival music, people dancing on the float, people playing the spoons,” Boucher said. “It’s one of the ways we advertise.”

This is the 20th year of the festival that celebrates Bastille Day, July 14, a French national holiday marking the fall of the Bastille prison in Paris in 1789, the beginning of the French Revolution.

While the goal is to celebrate as close to July 14 as possible, Boucher said the July 8-9 dates were chosen to avoid conflicting with Old Hallowell Day, which is set for July 16 this year.

Le Festival de la Bastille is held at Pete Gagne Field, 65 Old Belgrade Road, Augusta, with opening ceremonies 6 p.m. Friday, July 8.

Kids events are planned for 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Saturday, July 9.

Admission is $5 per person per day, with children under 12 admitted free.

“The last festival attracted about 4,000 people,” Boucher said. “It was a perfect weekend, and it was a very successful one.”

However, it ran into a few hitches.

“Someone stole all our electrical stuff,” Boucher said. And the kitchen was shut down for being too close to the fireworks.

“We’ve made some adjustments this year,” Boucher said. “There’s a different setup for some of the tents.”

That means festival-goers are assured of a chance to eat the crepes, meat pies, boudin (blood sausage) and sweet Italian sausage. There’s also hot dogs and hamburgers for the kids, a chicken barbecue Saturday afternoon and a bean supper later that day.

Boucher said a two-story wooden building has been removed, which should make it easier for all to see the ground fireworks.

The festival is organized by a 30-person committee that is augmented by 150 volunteers on festival days.

“It takes that many to make it work,” Boucher said.

The club has Gagne & Son Concrete Blocks, and Pine State Trading Co. and Kennebec Savings Bank as major sponsors and a host of other sponsors.

The goal is for the club to break even.

“We usually try to make a little bit of money to stash it away for the next festival,” Boucher said. “But it’s more the idea of sharing the French music, food and fun.”

The large tent should appear in the middle of the field on Tuesday and much of the setup will take place over the next several days.

“I’ve got a great crew, about 15 guys that show up,” Boucher said. “It’s amazing what we can get done in a few days. It used to take a week without the machinery.”

Boucher said Gov. Paul LePage has confirmed he’ll be there for the opening ceremonies, which include the singing of three national anthems: the United States, France and Canada.

Among the entertainment this year is La Releve Beauceronne with Louise Mailhot, offering clogging and French comedy skits.

The club itself counts 900 members, Boucher said. Club President is Gerard “Yeow” Lapierre.

Information and a poster about this year’s festival appear on the club’s Facebook page.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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