Faubourg. Lagniappe. Beaucoup. Beignet. Make groceries. Vieux Carre. As we approach our tricentennial in 2018, French heritage remains a vibrant part of the culture, language, architecture, and life of New Orleanians new and old. And since there’s nothing we like better than a reason to celebrate, you can expect a full roster of events this July 14, better known in France as Bastille Day.
Our Parisian connection in the heart of New Orleans, Alliance Française of New Orleans, has taken the best of both worlds and stretched the one-day French celebration to three days of New Orleans festivities. Meet future friends, fabulous Francophiles and French folks alike at the Bastille Day Kick-Off Networking Cocktail at Dijon Restaurant on Friday, July 12 from 7-10 p.m., completely free.
On Saturday, it’s time for the whole family to get involved in the fun – beginning with your pet pooch. What’s a French celebration without your French dog? Check out the French Dog Costume Contest, open to all French dogs or dogs dressed in fabulous French style from 9 – 10 a.m. in Dutch Alley.
So let’s get in the moment. We’ve got our dogs. Our dogs are wearing costumes. We’re in the French Quarter. We’ve recruited friends to come cheer on said dogs. Obvious next step? If you guessed French Quarter parade, congratulations, you’re a (French-influenced) New Orleanian through and through.
Follow a French Quarter parade to segue to the next major event of the day, a Bastille Day Fête at the Old U.S. Mint, complete with live French music, food & drinks, kids activities, and radio broadcasts of fellow national and international celebrations. Still going strong? End your day with French-New Orleans flair at the Bastille Day in Faubourg St. John block party, from 5 – 9 p.m., which will let you get your beauty sleep for a whole second day of food, fun, and French glory.
Sunday activities range from attending a wreath-laying ceremony, checking out free food demos at the French Market, indulging in a true French brunch (please, French gods above, let there be chocolate and baguettes!), hearing French chamber music, or cheering on your favorite server extraordinaire at the Bartenders and Waiters Race.