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Honoring Our French Roots: Bastille Day Celebrations in New Orleans

Celebrate our French roots with some uniquely New Orleanian fun this Bastille Day.

New Orleans’ French roots run deep here in the “Most French of American Cities,” which means that we don’t just let a day like Bastille Day, the French equivalent of our Fourth of July, slip by without some serious celebrating. As a matter of fact, we don’t just throw one day of festivities. We take a whole weekend to enjoy Bastille Day events all around town. On July 14 and 15, there are several different ways for you to get in on the French Fun.

Bastille Day Fete. (Photo: Cheryl Gerber)

Bastille Day Events in New Orleans

French celebrations take over the New Orleans Museum of Art in City Park for Bastille Day Fête on Friday, July 14 from 6-10 p.m. This is the family-friendly main event of the two-day celebration. Activities include music and dancing with local swing band Bon Bon Vivant, guided gallery visits in both French and English, French-themed kids’ activities such as storytelling, crafts, and face painting, and a cooking demonstration by Café NOMA.

The Louisiana Children’s Museum. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

The Bastille Day fun will continue on July 15 with the French Cultural Fete at the Louisiana Children’s Museum beginning at 11 a.m. Kids can learn about how France has shaped New Orleans culture, learn to speak a few French words, and make French crafts.

French charm at Cafe Degas. (Photo: Rebecca Todd)

Starting at 4:30 p.m., head on over to the Faubourg St. John Bastille Day Celebration on the 3100 block of Ponce de Leon, between North Lopez and Esplanade. There will be more French music from Ukelele Jake, High Ground Drifters and Harmonouche, as well as food from 1000 Figs, Cafe Degas, Fairgrounds Coffee House, Liuzza’s by the Track, Lola’s, Pal’s Lounge, Santa Fe, and Swirl Wines. There will also be prizes given out for the best Marie Antoinette or Napoleon costumes, children will have plenty to do with family-friendly activities, and there will be several local artist vendors for those who want to shop.

Beyond this action-packed day of celebrating, there are plenty of other Bastille Day events in New Orleans to enjoy for the holiday — from an Annual Wreath Laying Ceremony to a special Bastille Day Wine Dinner at Arnaud’s, as well as a Bastille Day mass in French.

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