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Bastille Day in Boston is an annual event celebrating the French national holiday every year in July. It is one of the most popular events of the summer in Boston and it commemorates the storming of the prison in La Bastille on July 14th, 1789. The event alsohonors the French people’s uprising against the autocratic monarchy at the time and the proclamation of the French Republic with its three main principles of equality, fraternity and liberty. If you happen to be in Boston in July and want to discover something new, head to a Bastille Day in Boston event.
There are many ways and places to celebrate this cultural holiday with many activities scheduled throughout the city.The main event of Bastille Day in Boston is organized by the French Cultural Center located on Marlborough Street. The French Cultural Center is a nonprofit organization in Boston dedicated to promoting the French language and Francophile culture in Boston and all of New England through various classes, events, seminars, concerts, lectures, cooking demonstrations, exhibitions, wine tastings and much more. The Center also has a library with the second-largest collection of French books, DVDs and other media in the country.
On Bastille Day, the French Cultural Center closes off the section of Marlborough Street, located between Berkeley and Clarendon Streets, and organizes a huge celebration that lasts from 6 pm until 11 pm. Every year, the street party which has been taking place for the past 35 years, features a great lineup of singers, performers and continuous live music and dancing. Music ends at 10 pm. Approximately 2,000 locals and tourists attend the Bastille Day bash.
There is also a ton of great French food at the party with many local French restaurants serving up some of their best dishes in booths. There is also a lot of French beer, wine and other drinks available for sale from places such as the Brasserie JO, Sandrine’s, Mantra, and Petit Robert Bistro among others.
To attend the Bastille Day celebration on Marlborough Street, you can get tickets either week in advance for $28 or on the day of the event for $35. The event sells out quickly so guests are encouraged to purchase their tickets as soon as possible. Also the event takes place rain or shine andthe tickets are non-refundable.
Another popular event to attend during Bastille Day in the Boston area is the party on Holyoke Street in Harvard Square in Cambridge. This is one big block party hosted by Sandrine's Bistro and the Harvard Square Business Association. It takes place from 2 pm until 11 pm and features music, sidewalk chalk art, jugglers, and much more. The event is open to the public and free to attend.
Besides the many Bastille Day parties that are organized in Boston, many French eateries provide special deals and discounts to customers. Restaurants such as the Beehive in South End, Sel de la Terre, Bistro du Midi and Pigalle will be serving special prix fixe menus with delicious classic French dishes. Even major non-French establishments such as the Seaport Hotel provide special menus in honor of Bastille Day during the second week of July.