California Travel Tips

California Loves the French Life on Bastille Day

Published on: July 09, 2019


Pictured is Sacramento’s annual Bastille Day Waiters’ Race and Street Festival in the Handle District.

Ever since California wines beat out the French in a blind tasting test decades back, the Golden State has held a special affinity for its French brethren.

If California was a country it would be on similar par with France in terms of size and economy. So it’s only natural that once a year California’s Frenchmen and French lovers come together to celebrate France’s Bastille Day on July 14, less than two weeks after America’s Independence Day on July 4.

The French National Day celebrates a turning point of the French Revolution, the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. (Independence Day commemorates the Declaration of Independence of the United States, on July 4, 1776.)

Bastille Day celebrations throughout France include the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe. In California celebrations are more subdued but certainly lively and fun. Among them are a delightful French Festival in Santa Barbara July 13-14, 2019  with can-can dancers, a French poodle parade and two days of foods, music and French entertainment.

California French Festivals

  • San Francisco Bastille Day  July 13, 2019 on the Embarcadero. Event includes a Waiters’ Race or Course De Serveuses Et Garcons De Cafe
  • Sacramento Bastille Day Waiters’ Race / Festival July 14
  • Bastille Day at the French Sofitel Beverly Hills July 14
  • Bastille Day at 3 Bay Area locations of restaurant Left Bank — San Jose (Santana Row,) Larkspur and Menlo Park
  • San Diego Open House and Lawn Party July 14 at The House of France in the International Cottages Center in Balboa Park


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