For a city with no French-based heritage, Seattle certainly takes Bastille Day seriously. The French National Day returns this Sunday, July 14. Here are five surefire bets for celebrating.
Cafe Campagne and Marche: A Party for the Revolutionaries
The eleventh annual Bastille Day celebration will have Post Alley teeming this weekend. Between Pine and Stewart, and in Café Campagne, revolutionaries can expect baguette sandwiches, savory tartes, macarons, and even an oyster shucking station (and a full bar at Marche). Burlesque temptress Shanghai Pearl, and Indigo Blue and the Can Can Girls are expected to dance the night away, and pours of draft beer and three kinds of wine will be $5. Vive la France! The party begins at 4 on Sunday.
Madison Valley’s Annual Bastille Day Bash
Though it's only the second year, this soiree is expected to be twice the size of last year's, and already feels like a tradition. Seattle’self-proclaimed “European Village” will come to life the day before Bastille Day with live music, wine tastings, activities, and retailers of French food, clothing, skin care, design, art—even yoga. The sidewalks of East Madison Street between 27th and 30th will be specially prepared for the festivities that begin on Saturday at 3 and last until 8, and you’ll want to get there early to take full advantage of the Wine Passport ($20 for wine, beer and spirits tastings from each purveyor) and the gourmet bites that start at just $2.50. Tickets can be purchased here, though the cost of entrance is free.
Petanque Tournament, between Ballard Inn and Anchored Ship Coffee
Francophilia commences at high noon with a Petanque tournament in the empty lot across from Bastille, complete with boozy punch hosted by the excellent Reuben’s Brews. Register your team of three by 11 on Saturday for $5, which includes your drink ticket. Inside intel indicates that this is the final year Bastille will host the French tournament (some say the sport is similar to bocce ball), so get in while you can.
Bastille Cafe and Back Bar
Just across the street from the petanque tourney, the Bastille alleyway (which connects the back bar with Ballard Ave) will be transformed into a beer garden with music, cocktails, beer and wine, all for $5. Sandwiches of house pate, charcuterie, and brie de nangis will be available for patrons when the alley opens up at 2 on Saturday. And in addition to her artful strip over at Campagne, Shanghai Pearl is slotted to pop in for a doubleheader burlesque show that night. Expect her (and “friends”) after The Djangomatics wrap up their live gypsy-jazz performance at 9.
For Sunday morning brunch, Bastille will continue to serve “Revolutionary specials,” with the beer garden alleyway opening up again at noon—this time with oysters on the half shell for snacks.