“Bonsoir le maître et la maîtresse, and everyone who lives here too. Now for the last day of the year, la guignolée vous nous devez.” So begins the song chanted almost every New Year’s Eve in Ste. Genevieve for well over 250 years!
Sadly, the last generations of native French speakers are disappearing, but cherished traditions like La Guignolée still remain in Ste. Genevieve. Ste. Genevieve’s La Guignolèe singing troupe will again run their circuit of the Ste. Genevieve historic district in their centuries old New Year’s tradition. Dressed in bizarre and somewhat archaic costumes, the revelers wander from place to place on New Year’s Eve, singing a beggars’ song for favors.
Make a dinner reservation at a restaurant to see the troupe as they make their rounds, watch them perform in the Valle gym at 7 p.m., or attend a La Guignolee watch party at the Centre for French Colonial Life and the Bolduc House.