In celebration of Bastille Day, the French National Day, the Alliance Française de La Nouvelle-Orléans
with support from the French-American Chamber of Commerce
and the Consulate General of France
in New Orleans, hosts its third annual Bastille Day Fete Saturday, July 12; 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm.
The festivities honoring the storming of the Bastille turn Spanish Plaza (1 Poydras St.) French for a day with French-inspired activities and food from local restaurants including Crepes a la Cart
, Cafe Degas
, Martinique Bistro
The celebration features music by young Cajun rockers Feufollet
(7 p.m.), Sunpie
and the Louisiana Sunspots (5 p.m.) and accordionist Norbert Slama
Because the French traditionally celebrate Bastille Day at community firehouses, the Alliance Francaise is putting a New Orleans spin on tradition.
“We wanted to keep this link … and since we’re on the (Mississippi) river, we decided to get a fire boat,” says Aurelie Champvert, director of the Alliance Française de la Nouvelle-Orléans. “Kids will actually be able to get into it, and it will sprinkle some red, blue and white water.”
In addition to touring the fire boat, kids can enjoy face painting, French stories, crafts, a mime and more.
Festival goers can also learn new dance moves from Dance Quarter instructors, participate in contests, such as guessing the weight of a “panier” or dress up their dog for the annual French Dog Contest
Champvert says the whole French atmosphere invites festivity and merriment.
“If you stop in you’re going to be able to do what New Orleans people are the best at … have a dance, have a drink, grab some food, play with your kids,” she says.
The Alliance Française hopes to expand the event.
“We think this could really become a major event in the city of New Orleans that attracts people not only from here but from all around the states,” Champvert says.