FORT KENT, Maine — This is the first time a World Acadian Congress has spanned two countries and included an international border.

Officials with U.S. Customs and Border Protection have some helpful hints for travellers looking to participate in events going on in the St. John Valley, New Brunswick and Quebec.

“CBP is committed to ensuring the security of our nation’s borders during the WAC, while continuing to facilitate legitimate travel and trade in the most effective manner possible,” Michelle Benson-Fuller, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman, said Tuesday.

All United States adult citizens entering Canada must have a valid passport or passport card, according to information provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

A driver’s licence or any other form of photo identification is no longer accepted in lieu of a passport as of 2009.

Children under age 16 may show proof of citizenship with a passport or a certified U.S. birth certificate, a United States consular report of birth abroad or a certificate of United States Naturalization.

A child under age 18 traveling without his or her parents must carry a parental consent letter.

“There are going to be lots of family reunions with picnics and other gatherings going on,” Benson-Fuller said. “So people need to know what foods they can bring across.”

Travelers coming back into the U.S. must declare all food items purchased in Canada.

Many fruit, dairy, meat and vegetable items are allowed into the country, and a complete list is available at

Travelers also can bring alcohol in from Canada for their personal use, and the quantity is established by the state.

According to Laurence Sanborn, Maine division manager for liquor enforcement, individuals may cross one gallon of hard liquor, one gallon of wine and three gallons of beer for a total of five gallons.

“The total can only be in those proportions,” Sanborn said. “For example, you can’t bring in five gallons of just beer.”

Regardless of purchases made in Canada, Benson-Fuller said they must all be declared when returning to the United States.

There will likely be wait lines at the ports of entry in the St. John Valley, Benson-Fuller said, and indivduals can check the status of those waits at

Avatar photo

Julia Bayly

Julia Bayly is a reporter at the Bangor Daily News with a regular bi-weekly column. Julia has been a freelance travel writer/photographer since 2000.