Bastille Day is the French national holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille fortress, a symbol of the ruling aristocracy. It marked the beginning of the French revolution and the end of the monarchy.
In San Francisco, it’s a pretty good excuse to drink tons of French wine and dance the night away. Here's what's happening this weekend:
Vive la France! Everything French will be on display at the de Young for the Bal Populair. There will be music by La Guinguette as well as a special dance performance celebrating the legendary Moulin Rouge by Kitty Kitty Bang Bang. Frivolous and kitsch it will span the centuries and condense it in one three hour extravaganza. Friday July 13, 6 - 9 p.m., the de Young Museum, 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive.
Bastille Dance Party
Kick off the celebrations on Friday with a night of bouffants and Truffaut at Bardot A Go-Go. Celebrating all things French, circa 1960, it will be a night of go-go girls, Godard, and fancy dress. For those who don’t know what 60’s fashion was like in France, Bardot A Go-go have fortunately come out with a guide. There’ll be free 60s hairstyling by from 9 to 11 p.m., ensuring that you can do le swing in style. Music will be provided all night long by DJs Pink Frankenstein and Brother Grimm, in addition to drink specials and French videos. It is an all ages event and tickets cost $10. Friday July 13, 9 p.m., Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St.
Romancing the Rhones
Whether you're into luscious viogniers, silky syrahs or brooding petite sirahs, they're all there at the Romancing the Rhones Grand Tasting event. Not only will people get to taste 150 deliciously seductive Rhone valley wines, they will also be able to chat with winemakers and blind taste and score wines to see if their palates match those of the judges. Tickets cost $39 and can be purchased here. Saturday July 14, 2 - 4:30 p.m., The Old Mint Building, 88 Fifth St.
At the heart of what was once the old French Quarter, this Belden Place will be decked out in red, white and blue streamers. DJs and merriment will rule the evening as the French celebrate the storming of the Bastille fortress. Put on your beret and grab a bottle of champagne and head down to what is being touted as San Francisco’s best street party. Saturday July 14, 4 - 11 p.m. Belden Place, between Bush St and Pine St.
Bastille Day Lunch
The local Alliance Francaise are putting on a spread for local francophiles and expats. Come along and listen to some traditional French music while sampling some delectable French breads, cheeses, and other traditional foods. Sat July 14, 12:30 - 5 p.m.1345 Bush @ Polk St.
Grand Cafe will be celebrating French independence in an opulent fashion fit for the departed aristocracy. A Marie Antoinette look-alike will be in attendance, eating and distributing cake to all the guests. Complimentary glasses of wine and cupcakes for everyone who arrives after 5 p.m.. Get into the spirit of the rebellious French with a costume contest while listening to a French DJ. Those who wear a mustache and a beret will be entered to win a dinner for two on the night. Fri and Sat, July 13 and 14, 501 Geary St @ Taylor.