Here in the United States, over 50 cities participate, and one can even see them listed on an interactive Bastille Day map. My favorite, not to be too parochial, is the Eastern State Penitentiary Bastille Day Festival which took place last weekend. A reenactment of the storming of the Bastille takes place with “dozens of French revolutionaries” playing their roles to the tee including dragging Marie Antoinette to the guillotine. Of course, no one said it was historically accurate – for those of you a little short on your French history, the storming of the Bastille took place in 1789. Louis XVI lost his head in January of 1793, but Marie kept it all together until October.
Eastern State Penitentiary and the Fairmount area of Philadelphia make a great backdrop for the celebration which ends with special French meals in the many local restaurants and bars.
Do you have any Bastille Day stories for us or unique, local ways it is celebrated in your neck of the woods? We would love to hear about it, and, of course, stay safe and healthy while you are out “storming” – avoid too much cake and let the professionals handle the fireworks.
Photo by Ammar Abd Rabbo.