The declaration of a regional identity in Madawaska has made a comeback since 1979. The Foire Brayonne is an ideal opportunity for one and all to strengthen ties with their roots that formed the history of our region.
The event’s activities, the discussions held during the opening and closing ceremonies, and the advertising material all contribute to strengthening a feeling of belonging to Madawaska and the Republic, and the distinct character of its people .
The Republic's flag, designed by Robert Pichette and adopted by the Edmundston Municipal Council in 1965, is prominently displayed during the festivities. Drawing inspiration from the flag raised by John Baker during the border conflicts between Canada and the United States, the flag comprises an eagle and six stars forming a half-circle over a white background. Over the course of history, the number of stars was associated with the six founding peoples of Madawaska: Acadians, Quebecers, Scots, Irish, English and Aboriginals.
And during the inaugural opening ceremony for the Foire Brayonne in 1979, six couples dressed in their founding ancestors’ traditional clothing presented the flag of the Republic to the crowd in attendance. “Today, during the opening of the first Foire Brayonne, we want to remember those who came before us, and remind ourselves of the contribution each party made to the development of a typically Madawaskan spirit, filled with good humour, a welcome spirit and hospitality,” announced the Master of Ceremonies.
Today, the Foire Brayonne is one of the most important French Canadian festivals. The main activities for this colourful celebration include a variety of shows and concerts, and cultural and sporting events, among others.
The Foire Brayonne attracts more than 140,000 visitors during the 5-day event. The Festival brings families together and helps friends share in the beautiful natural surroundings of the Vallée du Haut Saint-Jean. True to its origins, the Foire Brayonne highlights the culture and history of the Brayons. The Festival also marks the occasion to highlight the legendary joie de vivre of the Madawaska inhabitants, and also enables festivalgoers to taste a typical food of the "land of the porcupines...", those wonderfully-delicious ployes.
The eagle represents the United States
The white background represents the purity of the landscape and the courage of the people who live in the Republic of Madawaska
6 red stars represent the 6 nations who built the region with their strength