Bastille Day celebrates France’s July 14th national holiday in a simple yet grandiose manner. On July 16th, Brooklyn will honor Provence. A festival atmosphere will take over the open-air village with pétanque competitions, anise-based aperitifs and a taste of local products.
The 30,000 French people living in New York are deeply attached to their country. A perfect illustration of this attachment is Bastille Day, the name given to the French national holiday in the United States and other English-speaking countries. Bastille Day is a French national holiday commemorating the storming of the Bastille and marking the beginning of the French Revolution. In New York, for over 15 years, a huge street party in Smith Street is organized by Georges Forgeois, in partnership with Ricard, Obut and the tourism boards of Provence. Many activities are proposed to the thousands of participants.
The scene takes place on Smith Street around a Petanque event (traditional French bowling game). Some of the classic Bastille Day celebrations include:
- The Sounds of La Marseillaise – La Marseillaise is the national anthem of France and can be heard day and night on Bastille Day.
- Bastille Day Parades
- And Pétanque – similar to Bocce, Pétanque is a game comprised of metal balls, where each player strives to throw balls as close as possible to a smaller wooden ball, named the “cochonnet”.
Eighty teams of three people will compete on the packed sand courts, as the music, amazing food, cold beverages, and the summer sun all gather around in what has become one of the largest Petanque events in Northern America. 20,000 attendees will once again mill about the booths of local businesses and chow down on Bar Tabac specialties.
“All that’s missing is the cicadas!” Georges Forgeois, creator of the event.
Since 1993, Georges Forgeois has been opening French bistros in New York. He is the designer behind this very French Bastille Day. “The idea is to bring the passion and the timeless atmosphere surrounding pétanque to the heart of New York. It is the symbol of summer; all that’s missing is the cicadas!” he exclaimed.
Provencal Week Events
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