Celebrate Franco-American Culture in New Hampshire!

For Immediate Release                                                                                                                                                                               Contact: Chris RyallNovember 12, 2010                                                                                                                                                                                      Tel: (888) 423-3995 

  CELEBRATE FRANCO-AMERICAN CULTURE IN NEW HAMPSHIRE!New Franco-American Heritage Tour Added to Website 

TORONTO  – Visitors to New Hampshire can now celebrate the rich Franco-American culture of Manchester with a new self-guided tour.  Officials with the New Hampshire Division of Travel and Tourism Development (DTTD) today announced the addition of the Franco-American Heritage Tour to the www.visitnh.gov website. The tour showcases the legacy of the French in Manchester, through dining, history, culture and landmarks.  The tour can be found on www.visitnh.gov under Historical Itineraries in the Planning and Travel Tools section. 

“Manchester is rich with cultural traditions, especially the Franco-American culture,” explains Tina Dittrich, Executive Director of the Franco-American Centre. “Immigrants from Canada began arriving in the late 1800’s to staff the bustling Amoskeag Mills, and they established neighbourhoods throughout the city called ‘little Canadas’ to express the culture that they brought with them from across the border. The new immigrants incorporated their food, traditions and religion to the Queen City and this culture can still be observed today.”  

The tour features dining on traditional French fare at Chez Vachon, the Red Arrow Diner, and Richard’s Bistro, as well as historical landmarks, including the Millyard Museum and the Franco-American Centre. The Franco-American Centre (www.facnh.com) offers French classes, shows French films, and conducts various special events with French artists and writers.  Guests can also trace their roots at the American-Canadian Genealogical Society, all right in Manchester’s downtown, which offers countless cultural attractions in New Hampshire. 

“This should have particular interest for those from Quebec as well as other Canadians with French heritage,” said Chris Ryall, Canadian Representative for the New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development.   “It’s no surprise Quebec is our number one generator of visitors from Canada representing more than 52 percent of all overnight visitors to New Hampshire .”  

Manchester is the perfect place to experience and learn about Franco-American culture. Visitors can enjoy some of the city’s traditional French eateries, explore the architecture of the mill buildings and churches, and see the financial imprint the immigrants left on Manchester with Saint Mary’s Bank. 

“At one time, New Hampshire had almost 30 mills and mill complexes and the French Canadians played a major role in the workings of the manufacturing industry in the state,” said Dittrich.  “The French speaking farmers of Quebec, tempted by the promise of steady work, began migrating to Manchester.  We are delighted to honour and celebrate their historic journey and their contributions to the culture of our community.” 

One can find the French influence throughout New Hampshire so don’t be surprised if you here locals speak French.   It all starts at the border with the state welcome sign in French and English.   The New Hampshire Division of Travel & Tourism Development has recently enhanced its website, www.visitnh.gov  and added a number of new features including themed itineraries, up to date event listings, and other features.  Start planning your trip and start saving.    To find out more about New Hampshire or to receive a free visitor’s guide, call 1-800-FUN-IN-NH (386-4664) or visit www.visitnh.gov. Canadian travel trade and media may call 1-888-423-3995, or email visitnh@travelmarketingexperts.com.