This year, the sidewalks along Smith Street in Brooklyn will not be transformed into pétanque greens, and the annual Alliance Française fundraiser will not be held in Philadelphia – a first since 1903. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Bastille Day will be different. But not all the festivities have been cancelled.
We have found over a hundred events in the United States, either organized online or adapted to respect social distancing measures. This year revelers can attend an open-air gypsy jazz concert in Plano, Texas, watch a vintage French car parade in Manhattan, and go online to listen to a conference by American journalist William Drozdiak, former Paris correspondent for the Washington Post and author of a book about Emmanuel Macron and Europe. The internet also offers a chance to discover Provençal cuisine through a cooking school in South Carolina, and take part in a charity auction in Georgetown, Colorado. Profits from successful bids will go towards maintaining the Hotel de Paris, founded by a French miner in 1875, which is now a museum.
Those looking to brush up on the storming of the Bastille shouldn’t miss the latest episode of the FrancoFiles podcast, recorded by the French embassy in Washington. You can then test your knowledge with a Bastille Day quiz! Children from 6-12 will love the drawing contest (“Draw Your July 14”), while teens and adults can sign the online guest book. This year’s motto is Tous Solidaires, or “We Stand Together” for Bastille Day..
Discover our map of French celebrations in the United States: Online events appear in blue, and in-person events in red.
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