WFC Fair
University of Wisconsin--Stevens Point


The University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point French Club FRENCH CONNECTIONS FAIR to celebrate Wisconsin's Sesquicentennial, September 26, 1998, welcomed 200 guests from Central Wisconsin elementary, junior and senior high schools, and members of all ages from the Stevens Point community. French Club officers began plans during the spring semester and, with wonderful support from fifty UWSP French students, volunteered many hours from busy schedules to provide activities and entertainment for francophiles of all ages. (Pictured to the right are French Club Officers Gail Peskie (left) and Brigette Kaufman (right) - Fair Organizers)

  Student teams offered a variety of mini-classes (left) repre senting French history/ geography connections to Wisconsin, music, basic French, art and slang. After taking a series of classes, guests roamed through the area devoted to games and exhibits where they could view videotapes and displays including the topical Coupe du Monde (a favorite with soccer enthusiasts), ties between the Native American communities and the French Canadians, and maps with pictures and explanations of the role of voyageurs in Wisconsin. Guests tried their luck at games of boules and t rivia (fun questions about French influences in Wisconsin and around the world), and had their special passports stamped at various exhibit.

In order to purchase souvenirs in La Boutique and tasty "French" cuisine at Le Café, guests first visited La Banque to exchange dollars for specially designed UWSP euros depicting bridges between Wisconsin and Fran ce. Preceding the main event, students used the microphone to engage the audience with an entertaining "review" of what they had learned in the their mini-classes or through the exhibits.

The culminating event, Claudia Hommel performing her wonderful Souvenirs of Paris cabaret program, brought all the visitors and workers together to celebrate our sesquicentennial through s ong. Although performing entirely in French, Ms Hommel engaged the audience of diverse age and French experience with music, gestures and humor. The UWSP French Club felt a strong sense of accomplishment looking around the room at the enthusiastic involvement of so many people, understanding then that their many hours of preparation and worry resulted in very positive results.

A few of the comments written in the guest book reveal the impact of this event: "This is one th ing I've never done before. It's great!" "Please do this every year!" "It's a great opportunity for students to experience French culture." "Merci" and "C'est fantastique!"

The UWSP French Club would like to thank various sources for their help and donations: Gabrielle Verdier, Director of the statewide Wisconsin's French Connection Sesquicentennial project, the UWSP Department of Foreign Languages, Bill Meyer, UWSP Provost/ Vice Chancellor , the Lincoln H.S. French Club, Comfort Suites in Stevens Point, the Stevens Point Journal, The Pointer, WSPT, 90-FM Campus Radio Station, Copps Food Store, County Market, Erbert & Gerberts, McDonalds, the Wisconsin Humanities Council, Mr. Didier Rousselière at the French Consulate in Chicago, the Peskie family, and all the wonderful students studying French at UWSP who were willing to work hard for this project.

Marcia G. Parker, French Club Advisor

Associate Professor, U WSP

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