“On behalf of the Towns of Mapletown, Castle Hill and Chapman, I wish to thank you for welcoming our travelers as we complete our journey to Quebec City. Your hospitality is most graciously appreciated!” These were the words of the travelers from the Maine-Quebec Winter Carnival Caravan (MQWCC) as they met with Consul General Hale VanKoughnett and Management Officer Michael Hackett.
The Caravan, organized by the Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce, started the journey last Friday from the small village of Portage Lake en route to Quebec City for the Winter Carnival. The travelers stopped at St-Pamphile where they visited Maibec, a Quebec manufacturer of wood products, then the Quebec National Assembly and the Consulate. They stayed for the weekend to enjoy the Carnival and perpetuate the long time tradition of “extending hands in friendship across the border.”
It all started in 1954 when the Ashland Chamber of Commerce proposed that funds be granted for a survey to study the possibility of establishing a road to the Province of Quebec. The first Caravan to Quebec started out on February 22, 1957. The Central Aroostook Chamber of Commerce took over the organization of the caravan’s trip to Quebec in 2010. This year marks the 58th anniversary of the Caravan!