One of my favorite memories of living in SoHo in my early days in Manhattan is Bastille Day celebrations at the now defunct L'Orange Bleue. What a celebration it was! For those willing to venture north of 14th Street, The French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) today announced details for Bastille Day on 60th Street, New York's largest annual fête of Franco-American Culture.
This year's celebration will feature a free live screening of the World Cup final in Florence Gould Hall at 11am, activities for children and families, wine and champagne tastings, live performances including the popular can can, a special screening of the film Le Brio (2017), and more than 80 booths showcasing the best of French food and Francophile culture. Attracting more than 40,000 people per year, the street fair will take place Sunday, July 15, from noon to 5pm on East 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington Avenues.
A special free screening of the FIFA World Cup Final in FIAF Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, at 11am. Whether or not Les Bleus advance to the championship match, FIAF will host a first-come first-served viewing party in its state-of-the-art 361-seat theater.
Live performances by Sense and La Jarry, electropop singer Marie-Line Grinda and DJ Lara Gerin, the Hungry March Band, hip-hop performers It’s Showtime NYC!, and the always popular can-can led by Karen Peled.
Champagne & Jazz Party — 1:30-3pm and 3:30-5pm in the FIAF Skyroom — featuring vintages from Pol Roger, Ayala, Champagne Delamotte, and Besserat de Bellefon, as well as sparkling cocktails courtesy of Grand Marnier, served along with treats from Maman Bakery and Voilà Chocolat. Jazz singer Chloé Perrier will sing favorite French and American songs accompanied by a guitarist. Tickets to each session are $75, $65 for members.
Summer in the South of France — 12-1:30pm, 1:30-3pm, and 3-4:30pm in FIAF Tinker Auditorium — showcasing wines provided by Sud de France, Kronenbourg beer, Bayonne ham, cheese from Président, and artisanal breads from Maison Kayser. Tickets to each session are $25.
A special screening of the film Le Brio (2017), starring Daniel Auteuil and Camélia Jordana and directed by Yvan Attal, follows the outdoor street fair in FIAF Florence Gould Hall at 5:30pm. A 2018 César nominee for Best Film, Le Brio follows the relationship between a young Arab student from the Paris suburbs and a racist professor, whose perspective changes when he becomes her mentor. Tickets are $14, $8 for members and students.
Dancing and interactive activities, including a zouk lesson with Franck Muhel, mime demonstrations by Catherine Gasta, and dancing and sing-alongs with Jacques & Marie’s Paris Swing Band.
Kids’ Corner & FIAF “Pop-Up” Library will invite all ages to participate in French-inspired games and arts-and-crafts organized by FIAF’s Language Center, as well as story time.
Bastille Day on 60th Street once again is the finishing point for the annual Citroën Bastille Day Rally & RendezVous, where car lovers will be able to get up close to classic models of the popular French automobile.
More than 80 booths showcasing the best of French food (Café Macaron, Dominique Ansel Kitchen, Epicerie Boulud, Le Souk, Le Bec Fin Fine Foods, and many others), Francophile culture (La Martinique and TV5Monde/SlingTV), and retail (Miroslava Palavicini and Hanami Jewerly).
A new addition, The French Garden, will feature a premium shopping area with exclusive fashions and accessories from French boutiques Jérôme Dreyfus, Emma & Chloé, Tissage Moutet, 727 Sailbags, and many more.
More than 30 lots donated by companies participating in Bastille Day on 60th Street will be raffled off, including a seven-day trip to Martinique and a three-night stay in Paris, both including airfare.
STREET & MAIN STAGE EVENT SCHEDULE
• 12:15pm: Zouk Dance Lesson with Franck Muhel (main stage)
• 12:45pm: French Mime Catharine Gasta (60th street)
• 12:55pm: Citroën Car Show (60th Street at Fifth Avenue)
• 1:00pm: Marie-Line Grinda and DJ Lara Gerin (main stage)
• 1:30pm: Can-Can Dancing with Karen Peled (main stage)
• 1:45pm: It’s Showtime NYC! (main stage)
• 2:30pm: Jacques & Marie’s Paris Swing Band (main stage)
• 3:00pm: Can-Can Dancing with Karen Peled (main stage)
• 3:00pm: Hungry March Band (street)
• 3:15pm: La Jarry (main stage)
• 4:00pm: SENSE (main stage)
• 4:45pm: Prize Drawings (main stage)
More information is available at bastilledayny.org.