Bastille Day, France’s national holiday, commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution, which began in 1789 when citizens stormed a Parisian prison holding political prisoners. By seizing the prison, the people declared that they would no longer tolerate living under monarchist rule.
This year celebrates the 225th anniversary of the storming of Bastille. Washingtonians are invited to attend a variety of celebratory events and activities throughout the weekend to enjoy La Fête Nationale in traditional Parisian style.
In addition to recognizing Bastille Day this weekend, the Embassy of France is hosting an evening celebrating Liberty Day in Normandy on Friday, June 11, complete with live jazz and swing music, dancing, cocktails, gourmet dishes from more than 20 local restaurants and a raffle to win a luxury trip to Paris. 4101 Reservoir Rd., NW. For details, click here.
On Saturday, July 12, join Hillwood Estate and Alliance Française de Washington at their annual French Festival for a full day of 18th-century art, live dance and musical performances by New York Baroque Dance Company, comedy shows, games and lessons. 4155 Linnean Ave., NW.
Party like it’s 1789 at L’Enfant Cafe Bar in Adams Morgan for its 10th Annual Bastille Day block party from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, July 12. There, guests can enjoy a beer garden, music, can-can dancers, food truck pavilion, masquerade street ball and the annual French maid race, with a chance to win a trip for two to France. 2000 18th St., NW.
For a more sophisticated soiree, visit the garden of the Georgetown Ritz-Carlton Sunday for complimentary champagne tasting by Moët Ice Impérial, live music, dancing and delicious cake served by a Marie Antoinette lookalike. 3100 South St., NW. For details, click here.
To celebrate France’s national holiday, Paul Bakery is holding its fourth annual Bastille Day baguette relay race on Monday, July 14, continuing a French tradition at its store at 801 Pennsylvania Ave., NW. Relay teams will race around the Navy Memorial and pass on a fresh-baked baguette, in lieu of a baton, to a teammate. At 11 a.m., a kid’s race will begin, followed by an adult race at 11:30 a.m. Paul is a French, family-owned bakery, with seven bakeries set around the Washington metropolitan area. For details on the baguette relay race, click here.