Poodle Parade Oh-La-La-iest Part of French Festival

You can raise a glass of Bordeaux, or break out the accordion (we hope you have it handy), or put on some Piaf, loud, or rent something Charlotte Gainsbourg-y or Audrey Tatou-ish, or you can get to Santa Barbara to pre-celebrate Bastille Day at the city's annual French Festival.

We'd like to be doing all of those things, right now, at the same time, but, probably, c'est impossible. It is *not* impossible to put the word "c'est" in front of anything that doesn't move, so we shall continue to do so.

What goes on at the two-day French Festival? Plenty. It's been around for over 20 years, so it has time to build up its yearly sked. Which includes music on three stages, bellydancing, mimes -- of course!, bready brioche-y things, and painters painting. All sorts of lovely Left Bank staples, found on our own American Riviera for a weekend.

The break-out-the-cameras highlight is the Sunday afternoon Poodle Parade. The mayor of Santa Barbara leads, and all manner of fluffed-up poodle-ania turns out in costume, in fur-ball puffs, in jaunty berets. If you have a Poodle, consider strutting your star.

Santa Barbara French Festival can-cans July 11th-12th at Oak Park

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