Where better to celebrate the national day of France, Bastille Day, than in Frenchtown, NJ. This celebration, in honor of the end of the monarchy and the beginning of the French Republic, returns to the streets of Frenchtown, July 14.
Festivities kick-off with a quiche breakfast at the United Methodist Church at 16 Third Street at 9 a.m. Then pick up with planned activities from noon to night. Art, music, puppets and more will line the streets of the scenic riverside town with a celebration of all things Francais. Shops and restaurants will be offering French-themed specials and the day will end with a radio theater performance at Frenchtown’s art center, ArtYard.
A few of the planned events include caricature, henna, live music, musicians, and mimes. Music is planned throughout the day with acts like Joe Coco, Rob Lanter, Seth Grossman and Drew Nugent and The Midnight Society. Little ones might be happy to find popular kids duo Lolly and YoYo performing at 3 p.m. at the Lovin’ Oven.
Frenchtown was named after a wealthy French-speaking immigrant who purchased the land in 1794. Henri Mallet-Prevost was a Swiss fugitive of the French Revolution who ran to New Jersey to escape the guillotine. Since Prevost and other early settlers were French-speaking, other locals took on the practice.
Bastille Day Festival at Eastern State Penitentiary
A raucous Bastille Day reenactment is planned for Eastern State Penitentiary, now in it’s 24th and final year. It has become one of Philadelphia’s most popular summer events. This festival will commemorate the storming of the Bastille by French revolutionaries with hour-long cabaret performances.
Guests can expect to see stilt-walkers, bearded ladies, Tastykake throwing, and a proper “send-off” for Marie Antoinette. For the final time, the re-enactor will shout “Let them eat Tastykake.” as they toss butterscotch crumpets to the crowd. There will also be public executions of watermelons.
The farewell is scheduled for Saturday, July 14, at 5:30 p.m. It is located at 2027 Fairmount Ave, and as always the fun is free. For more information visit: easternstate.org/visit/events/bastille-day