Hundreds attend Richer celebration

Local musicians, Les Voyageurs, entertained the crowd with French Canadian Folk Music.

By Marianne Curtis

   Over 500 people came out in Richer to help the community raise funds for the local historical site and enjoy a day filled with entertainment and activities.

   Recently, the fourth annual Celebration Thibaultville took place at the Enfant-Jésus Heritage Site in Richer. The one day event was hosted by the community’s Friends of Prayer (Comité de les amies de la prière).

   The event has been held yearly for the past few years to regroup members of the community, their families and friends and also to raise funds for the maintenance of the Enfant-Jésus Heritage Site. This year’s event drew people from all over Manitoba and from as far as away Abbotsford, BC.

   According to Marcel Gauthier from Friends of Prayer, the event was a huge success.

   “The goal for this activity was to offer an afternoon of friendship and leisure for the community while raising money for the heritage site,” explained Gauthier.

   Two musical groups, Les Voyageurs, a French folk group, and the Dutiaume Brothers, a Métis group originally from Richer, enlivened the crowd with their songs and music.

    “The two groups were selected to play as a representation of the two founding cultural groups, the French Canadians and the Métis, who settled in the area that has become Richer today,” said organizer Yvonne Fontaine Godard.

   “Celebration Thibaultville was a great success due to the many visitors but also to the volunteers who generously donated their time, talents and energy and also to the many sponsors who support us financially and in kind,” Godard added.

   Through the course of the afternoon there was a horse-drawn wagon shuttle, a silent auction, a 50/50 draw, food, and several free activities for children; clowns with balloons, a fish pond, face painting, and pony rides.

   Attendees could also take a guided tour of the historic church to view the many visual displays of artifacts, photos and historic documents, and a superb door prize.

   The annual event has been named Celebration Thibaultville in honor of the first priest to celebrate mass in the region, Fr. Jean-Baptiste Thibault, in 1847.                                                                                                    

 Throughout the afternoon a horse drawn wagon shuttled guests back and forth through town.

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