Magnifique: Santa Barbara French Festival

Cheer on the dance presentations, musical highlights, and the adorable parade of dogs at the free weekend-long festival.

CABARET, CAN-CAN, AND PIAF? Enjoying a weekend reveling in all of those classic, audience-pleasing traditions is something quite high on both the dedicated Francophile's must-do list, as well as anyone who adores the performing arts. But you don't need to find yourself Seineside, or in your favorite arrondissement, to revel in the magnifique marvels of France, though both ideas are beyond pleasing. If you do find yourself in California, and not across the Atlantic, and it is the right in the middle of July, near Bastille Day, all you need to do is drive your Citroen, or your Peugeot, or whatever conveyance you might have available, and make for the American Riviera, where the long-running and oh-so-free...

SANTA BARBARA FRENCH FESTIVAL... will be celebrating la vie de France via a number of buoyant activities. The dates are Saturday, July 15 and Sunday, July 16, the location is Oak Park, and organizers are spreading the word that the area wildfires will not impact the 2017 festival going forward. So stop by to lend some love to Santa Barbara and savor a delightful day of dance, of classic French eats (think pastries, crepes, and more), and the French Conversation Booth, if you want to hone your skills. Oh, and the cute Canine Cavalcade, which, long ago, centered on Poodle cuteness but now encompasses chiens from every corner of dogdom, will take place on both Saturday and Sunday at 6 in the evening (a cooler time for pups in costumes). And is that a gentleman wearing a Napoleon outfit carrying a French bulldog at the parade's lead? Why ouí, it is (that's Jellie Beanz in his arms, by the by, the dignified mascot of the merry affair). For a sense of the Seine-close life, be in Santa Barbara, on July 15 and 16, with crepes, can-can, and Jellie Beanz will all spread some beaucoup charme.

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