FORT KENT, Maine — It’s that time of year again, when folks in this border town celebrate all things buckwheat.
The annual Fort Kent Ploye Festival runs today through Aug. 9 as residents and visitors pay homage to the ubiquitous Acadian flatbread.
The festival runs in conjunction with the sixth annual Fort Kent International Muskie Derby.
“We hope to see people take what this area has to offer,” said Jesse Jalbert, executive director of the Greater Fort Kent Area Chamber of Commerce. “It’s about our Acadian heritage and embracing these large fish we now have in our waters.”
Part buckwheat pancake, part crepe and a staple on St. John Valley dining room tables, the humble ploye is elevated to celebrity status for three days with recipe contests, eating competitions and the annual cooking of the world’s largest ploye at 7 p.m. Friday.
“The giant ploye is always a real crowd pleaser,” Jalbert said.
This year’s recipe contest has a new twist, Jalbert said, with categories including anything made with buckwheat flour.
“This is going to allow people to get really creative,” he said.
Events taking place throughout the weekend include the ploye eating contest at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Rock’s Diner; an antique tractor pull at 11 a.m. Saturday at Riverside Park; judging of the ploye recipe contest from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Rock’s Diner; a matinee of “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” at 3 p.m. at the Century Theater; family and children’s activities all weekend behind the former Irving Mainway store; a street dance; farmers market and a craft fair.
“It should be an exciting weekend,” Jalbert said. “There is a lot to see and do, and it really shows off the community.”
A complete Ploye Festival and International Muskie Derby schedule is available at http://www.fortkentchamber.com/Ployes.pdf