Frenchness, Fire-Pokers, & I Need To Wash My Jeans

So I went to Festival du Voyageur with my CreComm homies this past weekend. Having never been, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I ate poutine (and a hotdog), made friends, and learned a lot. My attempt to get cultured also prevented my mom from being that disappointed when I came home the next morning with some less-than-cute Caribou stains down both my legs, so that’s a win.

We cruised through Fort Gibraltar and ducked in and out of the different cabins listening, learning, and hanging around the fires for as long as was appropriate. One of the cap-sporting, vest-rocking young men sat behind a table working intently with some rough leather and small tools. I watched him for a while and learned that this handyman was not only making a sheath for the fire-poker on the table, HE ALSO MADE THE DAMN POKER. Just mind-blowing. See for yourselves.

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Louis-Simon Olivier, 17, works quietly by the fire as a young boy looks on in one of the cozy cabins in Fort Gibraltar at the Festival du Voyageur on Friday, February 19./FLETCHER

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The tools and materials used by craftsmen in the 1800s are displayed for Festival du Voyageur visitors to learn about and see in action on the evening of Friday, February 19./FLETCHER

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Louis-Simon Olivier, 17, fashions a sheath out of deer leather and twine while working in one of the many cabins in Fort Gibraltar at the Festival du Voyageur on Friday, February 19./FLETCHER

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Festival du Voyageur visitors watch and listen intently as Louis-Simon Olivier, 17, explains the traditional process of making a sheath in one of the warm cabins in Fort Gibraltar on Friday, February 19./FLETCHER

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Louis-Simon Olivier, 17, works with quick and nimble hands threading twine through pieces of deer leather to create a sheath for the iron fire-poker he created himself at the Festival du Voyageur on Friday, February 19./FLETCHER

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Louis-Simon Olivier, 17, shows off the iron fire-poker he made himself at the Festival du Voyageur on the evening of Friday, February 19./FLETCHER

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