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Vive la France! Vive la République!

July 14, 2011 3:00 PM
Today as I am working at my desk, I cannot help but have a thought for all my family and friends kicking back on the other side of the Atlantic to celebrate le quatorze juillet (July 14th) our national holiday (Fête Nationale)! The term Bastille Day is exclusively used by foreigners, most of whom are probably oblivious of the dramatic events attached to it. In the beginning, Bastille day was not about wine tasting while eating delicious French food!

On July 14 1789, La Bastille, a royal fortress in the center of Paris, and a symbol of the tyranny of the monarchy, was stormed by revolutionaries.  This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution, a long decade of political upheaval and terror that put an end to the monarchy and to the lives of King Louis XIV and his wife Marie-Antoinette, as well as tens of thousand of other people, gruesomely guillotined in public.

More than three centuries later, the festivities start off with a public display of the French Republic's might through the oldest and largest military parade in Europe, walking down the Champs-Elysées Avenue in front of the President, French officials and foreign guests. The entire parade is televised live! The next big event happens at nightfall with fireworks in every single city and village of France, followed by the famous Bal des Pompiers, when fire stations open their doors to the public and invite them to a ballroom dance.

So while you toast the French at any of the events we ticket (see a list below), ask your friends about the meaning of Bastille Day... I bet you anything that very few will know!
Caroline Planque

Tonight! Cabaret Bastille: Litquake Celebrates Left Bank Bohemia San Francisco, CA Litquake Celebrates Left Bank Bohemia with authors channeling authors, French wine, tricolor cocktails, an absinthe fountain, blue films from the '20s, an exotic dancer, and at least one accordion - flappers and dandies welcome!

Friday, July 15 Vive la France: French Music for Two and Four Hands Leavenworth, WA The Icicle Creek Music Center's 18th International Chamber Music Festival is an unforgettable musical experience that takes place in the breathtaking beauty of the Cascade Mountains. This concert features: Debussy - selected preludes, Couperin and Rameau - selected works for the keyboard, Debussy - "Petite Suite" for piano, Ravel - "La Valse for Two Pianos," Satie - "Mouvements en forme de poire" for piano. Don't miss the after-show Artist Receptions! Mingle with the international artists that make Icicle Creek so special, while sampling some local wines and artisan cheeses.

Friday, July 15 and Saturday, July 16 Bastille Days Wine Tasting Milwaukee, WI Let your taste buds explore and compare delectable wines from around the world at the 30th anniversary of Bastille Days.  A wine specialist will guide you through the tasting with selected wines from France, Sicily, Spain, Chile, New Zealand, California and more!


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