French culture has had a major and lasting influence on the city of New Orleans since its foundation in the 17th century.
Named after the Duke of Orléans, La Nouvelle-Orléans, or New Orleans, stands unique among all American cities and is the most Francophone city in the United States. From the city plan and lots, to the French Creole architecture, to the unmistakable cuisine and our city's strong personality, French influence can still be felt throughout the city today. It is no surprise that New Orleanians enjoy celebrating Bastille Day, the French National Holiday.
What is Bastille Day?
The French National Day (or Bastille Day) is to honor the Storming of the Bastille, a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. On July 14th 1789, an angry mob of Parisians stormed this symbol of the Royal authority, and took the first step towards bringing France toward democracy. Moves to write a constitution for the new republic led to the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 26 August 1789, the precursor to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1948.
How We Celebrate Bastille Day in New Orleans
Bastille Day NOLA celebrates the French National Day in America’s most French city! Leading up to July 14th (or en français, le quatorze juillet), the city will enjoy a wide variety of French-related events taking place throughout New Orleans. The best part? Most are free! This year’s edition of Bastille Day Fête will take place Friday, July 12 at the New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) from 6-9 pm. The New Orleans festival was ranked 3rd best Bastille Day festival in the world by Reuters.com; and Fodor’s also listed it as an event worth traveling to New Orleans for.
This year, activities will take place indoors only and will include music and dancing with local swing band the Bon Bon Vivant, a cooking demonstration by Café NOMA, guided gallery visits in French and English, numerous French-themed kids’ activities and more!