Cajuns to gather in Baton Rouge for summer celebration

BATON ROUGE -- Do you have clients with last names such as Broussard, Doucet, Breaux or Thibodeaux?

Well, tell them to get to Louisiana July 31 to Aug. 15 to meet their Acadian cousins for the Congres Mondial Acadien-Louisiane 1999. Officials anticipate as many as 250,000 people to attend these family reunions.

The event is part of FrancoFete 99: The Louisiana Tricentennial, which honors 300 years of French influence in Louisiana.

"The true goal of FrancoFete 99 is to celebrate the indelible stamp the French have placed on Louisiana," said Lt. Gov. Kathleen Babineaux Blanco, herself a Cajun. "We want Acadian people from all over the world to come to Louisiana and be part of the celebration of the continued heritage of the Acadian people during our yearlong birthday party."

French-Canadian colonists from Acadie (present-day Nova Scotia) were deported in 1755 by the English. Almost 25% of the population found its way to Louisiana.

In addition to the more than 75 family reunions planned, Congres Mondial Acadien-Louisiane 1999 also will feature historical tours, genealogical presentations, festivals and events not limited to one town, city or parish, but spread across the Acadian-populated regions of the state.

For FrancoFete information, call (800) 44G-GUMBO; visit the Web site www.louisianatravel.com.

Congres Mondial

Phone: (888) 526-1999

Family reunions

Phone: (318) 234-6166

Web: www.cma-la99.com

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