Dulcimer player

As part of the authentic experience of Le Réveillon, live 18th century dulcimer music is performed for attendees.

Provided by Ste. Genevieve Welcome Center

The celebration of the holiday season continues in Ste. Genevieve this weekend with the historic Le Réveillon celebration on Sunday at the Felix Valle House State Historic Site.

Le Réveillon refers to a meal historically eaten in France and French territories after attending church on Christmas Eve. Donna Rausch with the Felix Valle House State Historic Site said a meal estimating what French-Americans would have eaten in the 18th century will be on display Sunday.

“It was basically like a party they would have after they went to church on Christmas Eve,” Rausch said. “There will be food on the table they would have possibly had, according to our research. There will be music and everything will be lit by candles.”

In addition to the prepared food items and decorations adorning the house, Rausch said the site’s staff will be in period dress and explaining the significance of the food and decoration.

“The visitors will not only get to hear about some of the reasons we have the greenery and decorations, but also about what’s on the table and why it’s on the table.

“For instance, there are 13 different desserts, which represents Jesus and the 12 disciples. There’s a lot of symbolism, and people will actually get to taste some of the stuff.”

While the program is entertaining, Rausch said she and the staff try to educate the historical significance of the celebration through interpretation. She said the Le Réveillon has been held at the Felix Valle House State Historic Site for 38 years now, continuing a long tradition stretching back to Ste. Genevieve’s first settlers.

Refreshments will be available and live period music will be performed.

“Just come out and enjoy it,” Rausch said. “It’s kind of a ‘thank you’ from us, because it’s free. It’s our signature event to let everybody see what we’re about.”

The event will be held from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Felix Valle House State Historic Site, located at 198 Merchant Street in Ste. Genevieve. For more information, visit mostateparks.com/park/felix-valle-house-state-historic-site.

Jacob Scott is a reporter with the Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3616 or at jscott@dailyjournalonline.com.

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