5 Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in NYC

Unfortunately, we can't all celebrate Bastille Day before the backdrop of the Eiffel Tower, but there are plenty of ways to honor France on its Independence Day right here in New York City. There are a handful of lively and fun events as part of NYC's Bastille Week if you just know where to look! So throw on a beret and celebrate as the French do this July 14. 

1. A Street Fair "En Plein Air"

Celebrate Bastille Day at this New York street fair with a French flair. Put on by the French Institute Alliance, this will be the 10th annual fair — New York's "largest public celebration of the historic friendship between France and the United States." It will be held at E 60th St between Fifth and Lexington Avenues between noon and 5 p.m., and the street fair features live music, arts and crafts, prize drawing and face painting. You can also find your favorite French treats like "crêpes, éclairs and fromages" to satisfy your stomach and celebrate French Independence. 

2. Visit A French Bistro

Located in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, Bar Tabac, is a French bar and bistro that "aims to re-create the bonhomie of those Parisian hangouts that sell cigarettes and lottery tickets." This year, the bistro will open its doors for the 8th year in a row to pay homage to France on Bastille Day. The restaurant offers special events on the 14th of July including a pétanque tournament, live music, food and drink. The celebration begins a 11 a.m. and continues until 10 p.m. 

3. Dance the Night Away At a Parisian Soirée

The "Fête Paradiso," the "world’s first festival of traveling vintage French carnival rides and carousels," is making its debut in the U.S. this July 13, in honor of Bastille Day. The event is "aiming to reinvigorate the city's festival culture with an emphasis on freedom of expression and building a community." This magical Parisian Ball will be sure to "transport visitors to a Parisian street fair of a bygone era" and will include music from featured DJs and live bands. Free ferries will be running between Manhattan and Governor's Island on July 13 to bring guests to the celebration. 

4. Eat and Drink Like the French

French Restaurant Week, brought to New York by the MPB Agency, will wrap up on Bastille Day, so get your Parisian fix in before it ends. Last year, the special week was a big success as over 53 restaurants participated. This year, the theme is "La Demoiselle Brings Revolution,” and features La Demoiselle champagne. According to the official website of the event, "initial participating restaurants include Amélie Wine Bar, AOC, PicNic Market & Café, Le Bistro D’à Côté, Maison Harlem, Gaby Restaurant at Sofitel Hotel, Bar Tabac, Le Singe Vert, Cercle Rouge, Café Noir, Jules Bistro, Bistro Vendôme and Tree Bistro." So celebrate Bastille Day as the French do, with some steak or moules-frites and plenty of champagne. 

5. Raise a Glass and Say Cheers to France

The French Spirits Soiree takes place at Astor Center on July 13 as a precursor to Bastille Day. Presented by the Dizzy Fizz, a ticket to the event guarantees attendees unlimited French cocktails, punches and spirits as well as gourmet cheese and appetizers. In addition, live music and a can-can performance will keep guests on their toes! 

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Hannah Loewentheil

I am a Senior at Brown University where I am studying international relations and non-fiction writing. Follow me on twitter @hrl792.

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