Join us for San Francisco’s Bastille Day Festival at Embarcadero Plaza! [fr]
The very first San Francisco Bastille Day celebration took place in 1880, and this year - 139 years later - the Official Committee of French American Organizations of Northern California is organizing its 3rd annual grand Bastille Day celebration with a Kermesse (outdoor festival), including performances by several French musicians and two of the Bay Area’s best French bands. The event opens at 11 am and runs till 7 pm on Saturday July 13th at Embarcadero Plaza, across from the Ferry Building.
The free admission event organized under the patronage of the Consul General of France in San Francisco, Emmanuel Lebrun-Damiens, is open to French, American and all residents and visitors of the Bay Area. Guests will enjoy a multitude of French cultural associations, vendors, food booths, the wine, pastis and beer garden, a Citroen vintage car show, “Pétanque” competitions, tours of the San Francisco’s French Quarter, French musicians and all kinds of fun for the entire family! There will also be a “Course de Serveuses et Garçons de Café” (waiters’ race) and a kid’s garden, managed by the new Bay Area French sports store, Decathlon!
The day’s activities will include 3 performances by a Tahitian dance group, the Moorea Swing Boys, compliments of our top sponsor, Frenchbee, the first long-haul, low-cost French airline. Come learn how to dance the Tamoure! Win a ticket for two to Tahiti! The festival will conclude with the enjoyment of two fabulous local French bands, Rue’66, San Francisco’s only authentic 60s French “yé yé” band, and French Oak, a French jazz gipsy band. The Bastille Day celebration is expected to draw-up thousands of visitors throughout the day!
We invite you to discover the amazing French companies, culinary delights, wines, Kronenbourg beer, and other beverage providers that will partake in this wonderful celebration by clicking on our website: www.bastilledaysf.org.
Some of the more popular brands include Brittany Crêpes, Goudy’s French Cuisine, Brioche Pasquier, Fabriques Delices, La Flamme, Choux SF and many more. Enjoy wines from Chateau Potelle, the Boisset Collection and Miraval to name a few. Several Bay Area “Alliance Françaises”, other French organizations and vendors such as Decathlon, Mini Chic, Ricochet and A Table will also be exhibiting.
Bastille Day - A San Francisco 139-year-old Tradition
French American friendship spans 241 years, starting with the 1778 treaty and military support in the American Revolutionary War when France became the first ally of the new United States. The French were on the ground early in California. The first French immigrant recorded is Jean-Louis Vignes, who came from Bordeaux and started a vineyard near Los Angeles in 1831. As early as the Spring of 1850, the French were operating stores, restaurants, and hotels on Clay street, in the old business section. In July of the same year, Mr. Dilion arrived as the first French consul in San Francisco. There was a French newspaper, "L’Echo du Pacifique," as early as 1852. They even built the first railroad in San Francisco, a steam line, which ran from the bay to the Mission Dolores! As mentioned, the first San Francisco Bastille Day celebration took place in 1880. San Francisco was often referred to as "The Paris of America." Some may remember the “City of Paris” store where now stands Neiman Marcus. The first HMO was the French Hospital which opened in 1851 and aided all San Franciscans regardless of citizenship; it is now known as Kaiser’s French campus on Geary. The French have made a noticeable and enduring impression upon San Francisco’s first century of history.
As San Francisco celebrated yet another grand Bastille Day in 1897, Mayor James D. Phelan spoke as follows: “Ladies and gentlemen: San Francisco is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world, and from the very beginning its French population has been conspicuous in its development. Their love of the Republic, their enthusiasm for freedom, their artistic tastes and accomplishments have contributed to the up building of the City and the strength of the State. The character of California’s soil and climate, resembling-France, makes them feel at home, and has wedded them with ties of love and affection to the Golden State.This is the French national holiday, and its significance is in full accord with the principles that underlie the structure of the American Government. America celebrates the 4th of July; France, a few days later, the 14th. The one following the other is more than a coincidence— it is a consequence […]” – Pronounced 121 years ago, these words still resonate today.
Join us on Saturday, July 13th at Embarcadero Plaza and spread the word about this memorable celebration! For more information and a complete list of participants and activities, go to: www.bastilledaysf.org. Our event supports San Francisco’s zero waste policy and is smoke-free.
About the Official Committee of French American Organizations:
The Official Committee, a 501 (c) (3), brings together the French language and culture associations of San Francisco and the greater Bay Area. Its main purpose is to organize and sponsor the San Francisco annual “Bastille Day” celebration fêted the second Saturday in July, to participate in all local French events and welcome French dignitaries visiting the Bay Area. It brings together over 70 French American associations of the region. The association is only staffed with volunteers who organize all the association activities, including the festival. It embodies the role played by our compatriots in the development of San Francisco since the middle of the last century and contributes to the continuation of close and friendly relations between the City-by-the-Bay and France. Check-out our website for more information: www.comite-officiel.org