Bastille Day in New York City, one of the largest and most successful celebrations of French culture outside of France, will take place on Sunday, July 16th, 2023.
The national holiday is celebrated in France on July 14th each year, marking the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the beginning of the French Revolution. (If the holiday doesn’t fall on a Sunday, New York celebrates the day on the Sunday before or after.)
Not only are festivities held throughout France—including fireworks, concerts, parties, and a military parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris—but Bastille Day celebrations also take place in major cities and small towns around the world.
The New York City event, sponsored by the not-for-profit French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), has been held for more than two decades. A favorite of Francophiles, some 30,000 residents and visitors participated during last year’s celebration.
This year’s family-friendly event will take place on Sunday, July 16 from 12pm – 5pm. The epicenter of Bastille Day festivities in New York City takes place on Madison Avenue from 59th to 63 Street.
Some highlights of the 2023 Bastille Day Celebration in NYC include:
The Bastille Day main stage (at 59th Street and Madison Avenue) will host free, live music and entertainment throughout the day.
This year, cast members from the Broadway production of Moulin Rouge! The Musical will perform excerpts of the new theatrical adaptation.
Also performing will be Paris-based singer-songwriter Naomi Greeneblends, French-Moroccan singer/compused/producer Malika Zarra, and BoByGroove, half of the Brooklyn-based French duo Cosmic Gardens.
Rosé and bubbly tastings
Rosé wine is a sip of summer in a glass, often associated with Provence. Two rosé and bubbly tastings will be held at the FIAF Skyroom, located on the top floor of the Beaux-Arts building at 22 East 60th Street.
Participants will be able to sample a selection of summer wines from Vineyard Brands, along with madeleines and mini quiche from Miss Madeleine, macarons from Thierry Atlan, and cheese from Cheese from Cheese2U.com.
The two sessions are scheduled for 1pm and 3:30pm topped off with a live performance from Saint Martin’s steel drum band, Jolly Boys. The price of tickets is $75 for FIAF members and $85 for the general public.
A special screening of Louis Garrel’s The Innocent, will take place at 5:30pm at Florence Gould Hall (55 East 59th Street).
Part crime thriller, part family farce, the film depicts the dangerous lengths two men go, and the outlandish lies they tell, for the women they love. Tickets are $14 for FIAF members and students and $17 for the general public,
Food lovers will be tempted by the French specialtie foods showcased at booths on Madison Avenue. Participating vendors include Pistache NYC, Macaron Parlour, Benoit NYC, Bourke Street Bakery, Crepe Escape, Barachou, Miss Madeline, Maman, Mille-feuille Bakery, Petit Pot, Oyster Party, and many others, including coffee from L’OR Barista.
The “French Garden” on Madison Avenue will highlight French food, beauty, and fashion. More than a dozen luxury shops will participate, including Babette, Thermomix, Pain d’Avignon, Thierry Atlan, Cheese2U.com and Le Petit Parisien; and in collaboration with French Wink, Payot, Silpat, Paul Bertin, Angelina Paris, OCabanon, and more.
Bring the kids
Playground games and fitness challenges will be led by coaches from sports and fitness provider Asphalt Green. FIAF language instructors will host a themed coloring corner for children.
And everyone will enjoy the lineup of classic French cars on the west side of Fifth Avenue and 60th Streets (and also on 60th Street). There will also be raffle drawings, including a grand prize travel package for two to Saint Martin, courtesy La Samanna, a Belmond Hotel, and the Saint Martin Tourism Office.
Bastille Day in NYC is the next best way to partake in the best of French food, language and culture without traveling to France.
Visit www.fiaf.org/bastilleday for additional information
Can’t make it to New York? Check out the list of Bastille Day Festivities in the U.S. and Canada.