Old Orchard Beach, Maine is a gem. You got a beautiful boardwalk, nice sand, warmish water (by August), and A LOT of French. The first time this blogger visited "OOB" I could have sworn I was in Quebec.
Nope, totally Maine. A pretty unique experience for someone living in New England.
Apparently, I wasn't hearing things a recent article by WMTW mentions 6 out 10 summer tourists to OOB were from Quebec....woah.
If 60% of the tourists in the area are French-Canadian for a 3-month period. Does this qualify as a le petit Canada? Let's give OOB the ol' "Little Canada Litmus test..."
What language do the French-Canadian visitors speak? Well French of course! Walking the beach or going into shops, you will hear it. Stepping out of your daily English life into a French world is refreshing. Shop and hotel owners have lots of signage in French
and many have learned a lot of the langauge to better serve their customers. Local government officials have even added on a sign on the highway to indicate how many kilometers to Montreal. CHECK.
There is REAL poutine in OOB. We here at the blog are poutine snobs. There is no denying that. In OOB you will find shops up and down the main drag selling poutine. When you are standing in line at a place and hear people speaking French and eating poutine, it's worth a try. Did they have poutine in Little Canadas? No, but who cares its awesome and related to modern-day Quebec. CHECK
The above map shows the strong French ancestry in the Northeast United States and they are not from France...
Working near your home
When you are at OOB your job is to play at the beach. There are lots of hotels, motels, and summer rentals right on the beach. So you are very close to your job! CHECK
By our count, that's a perfect score! If we owned a t-shirt shop in OOB, we'd definitely create a shirt
to acknowledge their summer status as a Little Canda.
So as the article states, this COVID thing (that is shutting down the world) is really going to hurt OOB. We hope the impact is very minor. We love this place and don't want to see it change.
Vive le petit Canada!!