French For Fun, Lafayette, California

The Marquis' Birthday

Despite the fact that this year, l'anniversaire du Marquis was on Labor Day weekend and the temperature was in the 100's, the small crowd of all ages enjoyed the band "Duo Gadjo" and the company. Hoping for more gatherings in the coming months. We need your support and involvement!

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Enjoy these few photos of what I saw, the warm and welcoming people I met for three weeks at the very beginning of the summer. Langeac and its official buildings, the historic center of town, l' Allier this beautiful river famous for its salmon and its gorges and of course Le Chateau du Marquis de Lafayette in the village of Chavaniac, only a few miles from Langeac. -->

Maybe some of you will join me next summer in Haute - Loire, France so we can attend the festivities for La Belle Journée in costumes and all...a huge celebration organized by volunteers and local merchants the very last weekend of July and organized every two years.





Langeac is a small town in La Haute-Loire, one of the departments of the Central region known as L'Auvergne. It is there that Gilbert de La Fayette, "un gosse turbulent", an unruly child grew up in the Château de Chavaniac, where he was born. Chavaniac is only several miles from Langeac.

"Le gosse turbulent" description of the young marquis comes from "Pépé, raconte-moi Lafayette de Bernard ASTRUC, Éditions Jeanne-d'Arc.

The castle is still there and of course is a popular destination for all history lovers and tourists alike.

Now, how do we got involved with this "gosse turbulent"? No need to elaborate further on facts which you all know, may be even better than I. However, when it comes to the local connection, most of you are not familiar at all with the Langeac Society...

In 1956, the President of the United States inaugurated the "People-to-People Program" to establish greater friendship between the peoples of the US and other countries.

In the year of the Bicentennial Celebration of the United States, our local city council reached out to the city of Langeac to begin this rapprochement.

This mission lasted for years and Barbara Langlois, Vice-Mayor of Lafayette at the time, was its force.

Many residents of Lafayette visited the Langeac region and a few "Auvergnats" crossed the Atlantic to reach California, even a relative of the Marquis.

A couple of years ago, I had the pleasure to speak with Barbara Langlois from her retirement home. She has been too frail to join any of our recent gatherings.

Thanks to the support of Jay Lifson, Executive Director of Lafayette Chamber and Stephenie Teichman in particular, the City Council of the City of Lafayette re-established the Sister-City relationship with Langeac, France on May 27th 2014 and I, Catherine Jolivet agreed to work on the project.

Jay Lifson

Catherine Jolivet

Any "People-to-People Program" can only be successful if people join up.

I will be flying to Clermont-Ferrand for a visit to Langeac in June. Will have plenty to share in September when we celebrate "L'anniversaire du Marquis!"


After 235 years, L'HERMIONE, a replica of the vessel LAFAYETTE bought to join the American Patriots in 1780, sailed off on April 18th 2015 to once again crossed the Atlantic to reach the New World....(TAKE A LOOK!)

FRENCH FOR FUN could not miss this history lesson, so the 8th graders/ H S girls embarked on the crossing as the many young volunteers who with expert sailors should reach the East Coast of the United States in early June.

This project was even more appropriate since 3 of the girls live in Lafayette and attend Lafayette's schools.

Our next ambition is to create our very own replica of L' HERMIONE. Inspired by what local women in Langeac, France just completed in March.


The Francophile/ Francophone Community of Lamorinda met May 29th 2015 at Métro, before LES GRANDES VACANCES. A summer vacation which includes this year a trip to LE PAYS DE LAFAYETTE.



Bastille Day, July 14th, in Lafayette

In the summer, we celebrate bien sûr la fête de la Bastille.


La Rentrée

In the Fall "La Rentrée," the Francophone/Francophile community of Lafayette celebrates the birthday of the Marquis de Lafayette - September 6th.



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