BIDDEFORD — The Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center will once again be hosting the 2nd Annual Biddeford Hall of Fame celebration during the LaKermesse Festival in June.

The induction ceremony will be held on the LaKermesse Festival grounds on Friday, June 21, at 8 p.m. in the large-event tent. Inductees will be recognized in a ceremony to honor them for their contributions to the community and its people. The LaKermesse Festival itself was originally launched by Biddeford resident Joe Plamondon to celebrate the city’s ethnic histories.

“We are very excited to recognize the accomplishments and contributions of those connected with the community. It’s important to remember where we came from and how far we can go”, says Diane Cyr, BCHC board president. “It’s great to be able to share some of the stories, the people and events, that make Biddeford what it is today, a better place to live and work, with the community and relatives of those being honored. BCHC is proud to host this event and hopes to make this a special celebration for everyone involved.”

Cyr said that with 400-plus years of excellent nominees to choose from, last year’s initial selection process was difficult. All told, more than 30 people were nominated and eight inductees were recognized for their work ethic, talents, perseverance and accomplishments.

Those inaugural eight inductees are now featured prominently in a display at the Biddeford City Hall Council Chambers, which is open to the public for viewing during business hours.

During last year’s event, Biddeford Mayor Alan Casavant said that the Hall of Fame award is a perfect way to put a spotlight on people who have made deep contributions to our community.

“It could be the talented workers who came here from Turkey or Albania and used their ingenuity to create cloth known all over the world for its quality,” Casavant said. “It could be the Native Americans who were here in the beginning and helped so many Europeans flourish. It could be the women who were the matriarchs of their families and helped inspire a new generation in Biddeford.”

Inaugural inductees in 2018 included Samuel de Champlain; Robert McArthur; Captain Jeremiah Hill; Samuel Batchelder; Francis T. Spencer; Samuel L. Cohen; Rita Riley; and Captain Richard Vines.

According to Cyr, there will be a reception for family, friends and others immediately following the induction ceremony at the BCHC tent and the Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center will also have a presence at the LaKermesse Festival throughout the entire weekend.

Supporters of BCHC will be there for those interested in learning more about BCHC and their other programs serving the community, Cyr said.

Denis Litalien will serve as chair of the Hall of Fame Committee that is comprised of members of the Biddeford Cultural and Heritage Center and the Biddeford Historical Society, the mayor, and members of the public.

Litalien said that nominees must be or have been a resident of the city of Biddeford, or at some time in their lives, have made a significant impact in the city or the world around us.

He said that voting will take into consideration the significance of a nominee’s ethnic background.

Nominations should be sent in on an official nomination forms available on the BCHC website, although any application will be considered. Any nomination that was submitted last year, but not selected, will also be considered along with this year’s nominations. A person may also nominate themselves.

Submit no more that two pages of text with the nomination to: BCHC, c/o Diane Cyr, PO Box 896, Biddeford, ME 04005-0896 or email documents to [email protected]

They may also be submitted via the website at www.BiddefordCulturalandHeritageCenter.org or submitted to any BCHC board member or HOF committee member.

Nomination forms will be available at the Biddeford Saco Chamber of Commerce, McArthur Library, Biddeford City Hall and  at the Heart of Biddeford.

The deadline for nomination submissions is May 9.

For more information, contact BCHC President Diane Cyr at 283-3993.

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