Marketing & Promotions Coordinator
Alliance Francaise New Orleans
Consulate General of France
Bastille Day Fête Brings French Flair to New Orleans Museum of Art
July 15 event highlights include Lost Bayou Ramblers, kids' activities
Now in its fifth year, the Bastille Day Fête has found a new home at the New Orleans Museum of Art. For the first time this year, NOMA will be transformed into the "bal des pompiers", or "Firemen's Ball", a traditional celebration of the French National Day.
On Friday, July 15 from 4pm to 10pm, festival goers are invited to an evening of dancing and entertainment inside the museum, as well as in front of the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
"As we approach our city's Tricentennial, the annual Bastille Day festivities reminds all of us of the critical role France has held in our history," said Mark Romig, President and CEO of the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation and President and CEO of the 2018 NOLA Foundation. "This event allows citizens and visitors alike to celebrate the vitality and richness of our city's French heritage and to continue the bonds of friendship for years to come."
The French National Day (Bastille Day) commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a fortress prison in Paris, on July 14, 1789. This event marked the first step towards bringing democracy to France. Today, Bastille Day is honored at events by French and American communities throughout the state of Louisiana.
"Bastille Day Fête is the biggest celebration of French National Day in Louisiana," said Grégor Trumel, Consul General of France in Louisiana, "It brings people together to enjoy the summer and appreciate our common heritage with joy, dancing, and fun! Louisiana is the Francophone hub of the United States!"
Activities for kids take the spotlight this year, with highlights including a puppet show presented by The French Library, a new French children's bookstore on Magazine St., and a fire truck tour. Kids and families can also participate in an afternoon parade with French flair and the festival's grand finale, a light show on the museum's façade presented by Solomon Group.
Families at the festival will also be excited about the annual Bastille Day Dog Contest! Back again this year, the dog contest is a festival staple and fan favorite, featuring a parade of dogs competing for the most festive and, of course, French-themed costume!
"This festival grows larger every year - it's really exciting!" said Aurélie Champvert, Executive Director of the Alliance Française of New Orleans, "We're especially proud of the children's program, in partnership with The French Library, which is more developed than ever. There's plenty for the whole family to do. It's a real highlight of the summer!"
The music line-up this year includes staples of the French music scene in Louisiana: Lost Bayou Ramblers, Bon Bon Vivant and Giselle Bonfaire! Visitors can also expect a special visit by the Merry Antoinettes, voted Best Marching Krewe in the 2016 Gambit Best of New Orleans poll!
Inside the museum, visitors are welcome to enjoy bilingual tours and gallery talks of NOMA's French art collection, a cooking demonstration by Café NOMA, a series of French short films for children, and even mini French classes for guests hoping to use the language during the evening festivities!
Delicious food and drink vendors this year include: Crêpes à la cart, Café Degas, St. James Cheese Company, Petite Rouge, Aunt Sally's and Breads on Oak. It also wouldn't be a NOLA festival without snowballs from NOLA Heat Retreat!
Activities outside the museum are free to the public. Activities inside the museum are free for NOMA members, $5 for non-members. Admission is free for press and media.
Bastille Day Fête 2016 is happy to be part of the Friday Nights at NOMA programming schedule. The event is presented in partnership by the Alliance Française of New Orleans, the Consulate General of France in Louisiana, the French-American Chamber of Commerce, and the New Orleans Tourism & Marketing Corporation.
More information and a full calendar of Bastille Day events happening in the New Orleans area can be found at www.bastilledaynola.com. Help us spread the word on social media with #BeFrenchLA!
About the Alliance Française of New Orleans
The Alliance Française of New Orleans is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization founded in 1984 and incorporated in the State of Louisiana. Its mission is to promote knowledge and appreciation of the French language and Francophone cultures, and to encourage friendship and collaboration with the French-speaking world. The Alliance Française offers French language courses, language certifications, cultural activities and online resources to the local community.
About the Consulate General of France in Louisiana
The Consulate General of France in Louisiana was founded in 1803, following the sale of the Louisiana territory to the United States by Napoleon Bonaparte. It is the oldest French consulate in the United States. The Consulate's principal missions include: consular assistance to the French community in Louisiana; support of French language educational programs; development of French cultural initiatives; facilitation of economic exchange between France and Louisiana. The Consul General of France in Louisiana, Mr. Grégor Trumel, is the Consulate's chief of mission.
About the French-American Chamber of Commerce - Gulf Coast
The French American Chamber of Commerce, Gulf Coast Chapter, is an independent non-profit private organization dedicated to promoting and developing trade and investment between France and the Gulf Coast. The Chamber is one of 19 chapters of the French-American Chamber of Commerce in the United States of America.
About the New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation
New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation (NOTMC) serves as the City of New Orleans' leisure travel promotion agency. NOTMC is a private economic development corporation created under Louisiana State Law to foster jobs and economic growth by developing the tourism industry in New Orleans.