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7 Ways to Celebrate Bastille Day in New York City This Month

By Shaye Weaver | July 7, 2017 9:28am
 Can-can dancers at the 60th Street Bastille Day fête.
Can-can dancers at the 60th Street Bastille Day fête.
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Courtesy FIAF/Sasha Arutyunova

NEW YORK CITY — As Independence Day celebrations wrap up, France's Bastille Day festivities are just beginning.

Starting this weekend, several French restaurants will hold pétanque tournaments and block parties will fill East 60th Street, Carroll Gardens' Smith Street and Harlem's Saint Nicholas Avenue.

There's no shortage of parties to attend in honor of France's National Day on July 14, which commemorates the Storming of the Bastille — a turning point in the French Revolution.

Here's a look at when and where to celebrate:

July 8

Bastille Day Celebration with La Défense

Where: MetroTech Commons, Downtown Brooklyn
When: Begins at 10:30 a.m.

The Bistro at La Défense is hosting its annual pétanque tournament on professional-grade courts with live music, food and other fun activities at MetroTech Commons. Free admission.

'In the Shadow of the Commune: The French Quarter (1870s, 1880s)' with historian Laurence Frommer

Where: The Municipal Art Society of New York, 488 Madison Ave., Midtown
When: 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Historian and urban planner Laurence Frommer will lead a tour of New York's former French Quarters from Washington Square to Grand Street, between West Broadway and Broadway, that disappeared after the 1870s. It was home to 20,000 French refugees. Tickets are $30.

July 9

Bastille Day on 60th Street

Where: 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington avenues, Upper East Side
When: Noon to 5 p.m.

The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) is hosting its French-themed street fête with a number of tastings, film screenings, live music and entertainment, a photo booth and more. Learn how to do the Zouk dance, interact with a mime, watch can-can dancers lift their legs to the sky, and see a short car show of classic Citroëns. The festival's prize drawings this year are vacations to Paris and Matinique, gourmet gift baskets, dinners at French restaurants and more. Proceeds from ticket sales go toward FIAF. Free admission.

July 13

Bastille Day Ball 2017

Where: Club 404, 404 10th Ave., Midtown
When: 6 p.m. to midnight

The Committee of French Speaking Societies is hosting its annual Bastille Day Ball, featuring Chloe Perrier and the French Heart Jazz Band and DJ Olivier Meiji. There will be a raffle for two round-trip tickets to Paris with Air France, as well. Tickets start at $30.

July 14

Bastille Day Pétanque 

Where: Cafe du Soleil, 2723 Broadway, Upper West Side
When: 6 p.m. to midnight

Cafe du Soleil is hosting a pétanque tournament on its terrace with live music and food and drink specials.

July 16

► Carroll Gardens Bastille Day Celebration & Pétanque Tournament

Where: Smith Street, Carroll Gardens
When: Noon to 10 p.m.

Bar Tabac is back again this year with its annual Bastille Day celebration and pétanque tournament, with raffles, live music, food and drink by local businesses. Roughly 20,000 people are expected to turn out for this free event.

Bastille Day Block Party

Where: Maison Harlem, 341 Saint Nicholas Ave., Harlem
When: Noon

Maison Harlem and Bang Tidy, a Brooklyn antique and clothing market, are hosting a Bastille Day block party with live DJs, food, cotton candy, face painting and pétanque.