Goodbye Fourth of July; hello Bastille Day (La Fête de la Bastille or La Fête Nationale, if you know French), celebrated July 14! Goodbye beer, burgers and baked beans; hello champagne, garlic-infused chicken and classy summer salads. Goodbye red, white and blue… Oops! That stays the same.
Allons Enfants de la Patrie
- The opening line of the French national anthem, 'La Marseillaise,' is the perfect invitation to a great summer get-together: 'Come, children of the Fatherland….' French music helps set the party mood.
- Score bargains with paper goods and decorations in blue, white and red, the color of the French flag, known as the tricolor. You'll just need to pay full price for the flags!
- Decide if you'd like guests to come in costume. There are lots of choices from Coco Chanel to Marie Antoinette, from a Paris street mime to a beret-wearing 19th century Montmartre painter. Or just hand berets to everyone as they arrive!
- You could also tie this casual party into a day of celebrating Bastille Day in the city where you live. More and more cities from Milwaukee to Seattle have them.
- Or look for a garden tour that features gardens inspired by painter Claude Monet's gardens at Giverny. July is garden tour time in many communities!
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
- Toasts with champagne are called for on Bastille Day.
- What better toast than France's motto 'liberté, égalité, fraternité' which translates to 'liberty, equality, fraternity (brotherhood)'—a great toast in any language!