Villages around France -- and, truly, the world -- will mark Sunday, July 14 in a variety of celebratory ways. (Bet le cuisine, le wine, and le singing-together-joyously will be involved.) But Bastille Day is also observed in a variety of colorful and whimsical ways around another cultural, wine-laden region: California. Ready to don something French and party? You can in...
SANTA BARBARA: The American Riviera's long-running French Festival has been around since the late 1980s, save a postponement or two. (What great party doesn't face that now and then?) A marketplace, dance performances, and its famous Poodle Parade, which actually involves other breeds as well, are in part of the scene. Oh, and everything gets going on Bastille Day Eve this year, so the dates? Saturday, July 13 and Sunday, July 14
KENNETH HAHN STATE RECREATION DAY: That's the outdoorsy site for LA's big Bastille Day Festival, a get-together that includes the Parisian waiters' race, a Provencal Petanque tourney, vendors selling goods of a French nature, comedians, street performers (fingers crossed for a few mimes), and loads of French eats and beverages. Cost is five bucks in advance, ten at the door. Oh, and this party? It's Bastille Day only, so Sunday, July 14.
SANTA MONICA BOULEVARD: The Grand Guignolers will be staging a Bastille-type soiree with an distinctly 18th-century feel. Count on a lot of history to play out during the night -- that's Friday, July 12 -- and wear the colors of the French flag. Artworks Theatre on Santa Monica Blvd. is the spot.
RESTAURANTS AROUND SOCAL: A number of French and French-inspired eateries will be setting out the Bastille bites over the weekend. Fig & Olive on Melrose Place, Soleil Westwood, and Çomme Ca in West Hollywood all have magnifique meals planned in honor of the holiday. And Napoleon's Macarons of Glendale and Canoga Park? They've got a special themed sweet in store.