June 24 event incorporates music, dance, food, wine and fire
Walla Walla, Wash.-June 14, 2012-A French-Canadian rite of passage hits Walla Walla Sunday, June 24, when a mix of history, culture and revelry ring in summer: The Jean-Baptiste Arts Bacchanal. The Frenchtown Historical Foundation and Waterbrook Winery have teamed up for a day and evening of activities that will both enlighten visitors and thrill their senses. Waterbrook turns tradition upside down with a modern interpretation of an Old World summer solstice festival. The first portion of the celebration takes place Noon – 4:30 p.m. at the Frenchtown Historic Site (8364 Old Highway 12); the second half at Waterbrook Winery from 7-11 p.m. (10518 W. Highway 12) brings lively music with dancing, food, drink and a bonfire. General admission for the entire event is $18 (or $12 for Wine Club members). Proceeds benefit the Frenchtown Historical Foundation.
Noon – 4:30 p.m. The day starts at the Frenchtown Historic Site (8364 Old Highway 12), where a discussion of the Frenchtown Historic Site follows with guided historic cabin tours beginning at 2:30 p.m., led by “living characters.” Learn about the population’s rich culture and immersion into early Walla Walla life.
Waterbrook Winery brings the evening party, 7-11 p.m. , including:
- Mid-Columbia Master Singers and Symphony musicians, singers and Mid-Columbia Ballet dancers. Selections from its production of Carmina Burana will be performed.
- Traditional dances by the Frenchtown Dancers and fiddlers.
- Delicious food from Waterbrook Chef Maria Carmona and award-winning Waterbrook wine
- Late-night “jam” by local acoustic musician Paul Gregutt and friends.
Although it started as a religious holiday, Jean-Baptiste Day on June 24 has evolved to be a widely celebrated mainstream Canadian holiday. Traditionally, the usual order of activities would open with a mass to commemorate St. Jean-Baptiste, followed by a parade with band, baton twirlers, people dressed in period costumes and floats. After the parade there was a banquet with entertainment, folkloric dances and the day would end with a great bonfire – or even fireworks.
For information about the celebration, contact Waterbrook Winery, 509-522-1262 or Daniel N. Clark, Frenchtown Historical Foundation, 509-649-0044; www.frenchtownpartners.org.
About Waterbrook Winery – Founded in 1984 in the heart of Walla Walla, Waterbrook is recognized for producing wines that truly exemplify the outstanding vineyard sources in the Columbia Valley. From vineyard to bottle, every detail of production is completed by a passionate team, led by winemaker John Freeman. With more than 20 Wine Spectator – rated wines of 90 points or higher, and dozens of Best Buy recommendations – these critically acclaimed wines are made in an approachable, food friendly style with wide consumer appeal. Learn more at www.waterbrook.com. Waterbrook is part of the Precept Wine family.