This was the weekend for France. Kicking it off on Saturday with the celebration of Bastille Day, France capped off the celebratory mood with a World Cup victory for the first time since 2006 on Sunday. Needless to say, July 14 and 15 could not have been better days to be a flag-waving lover of all things French.
A six-hour-long Bastille Day celebration took place at Wade Oval on July 14, featuring French food, music and art. The annual holiday celebrates the storming of the Bastille Prison in 1789, a key event in the first French Revolution. This year’s celebration at the Oval, though, also honored the 10 year anniversary of Cleveland’s relationship with Rouen, its sister-city.
Various local food and drink vendors lined the Oval, and so did musical performances by regional ensembles and French musicians from the Rouen Conservatory. Jazz compositions were specifically highlighted from the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Baldwin Wallace University.
Food stands were presented by Cleveland-area restaurants, including Edwin’s and L’Albatros, while Rouen partners presented authentic French cuisine and street food. A trans-Atlantic collaboratory brew between Ohio City’s Market Garden Brewery and Rouen’s Northman Brewery, the “French Frosty,” was also offered to guests.
The Cleveland Bazaar also sold an assortment of items from clothing to handmade jewelry, and even an artistic Henna tattoo stand ready to, quite literally, mark the day.
In honor of the sister-cities’ anniversary, the Cleveland Museum of Art also offered a self-guided tour of its 18th-century French artworks on July 18.