If you want to catch another large Portland party other than the Mississippi Street Fair this Saturday, the Pearl will be home to the annual Bastille Day block party celebration. Thousands attend to eat, drink, and celebrate escape from French incarceration.
2012 Update: Portland Bastille Day Festival @ Director Park | Free, West Coast’s Largest Bastille Celebration
Info from website:
Portland’s Bastille Festival in the Pearl
Jamison Square Park | Free and open to the public
Saturday, July 9, 2011 | 12:00 noon – 8:00 p.m.
French wine, cuisine, art and sport; Portland Waiters Race, pÃƒÂ©tanque exhibitions and “Le Jazz” by the Patrick Lamb Band
The Portland Bastille Day Committee will present the 9th Annual Bastille Day Festival at Jamison Square Park on Saturday, July 9, 2011 from 12 noon to 8 p.m. The event is free, open to the public and for people of all ages. Bastille Day festivals – held in cities all around the world – celebrate the storming of the Bastille Prison on July 14, 1789, an event which is recognized as the start of the French Revolution.
The 2010 event in Portland was among the largest such festivals on the West Coast, with thousands of visitors (click here to view pictures), and was filmed in 2008 by PBS for a documentary that was shown nationally on TV. This year’s festival will feature a variety of vendors and organizations offering French wine, cuisine, music, art and sport.
Portland Bastille Day in the Pearl events will include:
– The 7th Annual Portland Waiters Race, at 2:00 p.m., featuring speed-walking waiters and waitresses from local area restaurants in a race around Jamison Park – the racers compete on speed and agility in balancing a serving tray. Cash prizes will be awarded to the three top finishers in the women’s and men’s divisions. The course is three times around the park (approximately one mile).
– Main stage entertainment acts, including the Patrick Lamb Band for “Le Jazz” Ian Clemens (traditional music from Brittany), and many others.
– French-style food and wine – everything from tasty chouquette pastries from St Hononore Boulangerie, merguez sausage sandwiches, pommes frites and other French specialties from Brasserie Montmartre, pastries from Patisserie Snobbee and Nuvrei, mussels from the Benson Hotel’s French chef, and more.
– The Jardin of Wine and Beer will feature beer, extensive wine selections of French and Oregon wines, aperitifs such as Lillet and tempting champagnes such as Veuve Clicquot. And more . . .
– A French-themed market with products from France including linens from the South of France (Les Couleurs de Provence), jewelry, and French-inspired products from Versailles Gardens. Booths offering information on learning French at a number of Northwest schools and camps, for students of all ages.
– Ongoing pÃƒÂ©tanque demonstrations and lessons organized by the Portland PÃƒÂ©tanque Club and sponsored by Veuve Clicquot.
– Singing of La Marseillaise on the main stage by classically trained singer Whitney Martin; words provided for public sing-a-long.
– ¬Å“Le Jardin des Enfants¬Â (Children’s Area) – performances for children aged 3 and up, by Fabulations, a local French language performance company, face painting and French-themed crafts for children (all day).