Portland is home to the West Coast’s largest Bastille Day celebration, welcoming close to 7,000 in 2012, where the event took on a new two-day format, with Bastille en ville (Bastille in the City) on Saturday, July 14, from noon to 6:00 p.m. at Director Park and Bastille au vignoble (Bastille at the Vineyard at WillaKenzie Estate) on Sunday, July 15. The Saturday festival in Director Park was free and open to the public and attracted 6,500; the Sunday event at WillaKenzie was by ticket admission and attracted close to 400.
Bastille in the City on Saturday, July 14 took place noon to 6 p.m. at Director Park in central downtown Portland (near Regal Fox Tower and Nordstrom; between SW Yamhill and SW Taylor, and SW Park and SW 9th). It featured great food from Portland’s top French chefs, many fun activities for children, a huge French book sale hosted by the Alliance Française, art & craft vendors (including many importers of French products), live French-themed music on the stage all day long, and the exciting Portland Waiters Race. (For an idea of the ambiance, click here to see an online photo album of last year’s festival; run the slideshow.)
L’Avenue de la cuisine: The restaurant line-up was formidable and French-themed menu options were plentiful: Brasserie Montmartre, Allium Bistro, Heathman Restaurant, St Honore Bakery, C’est Si Bon, Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, Fratelli, Cocotte and more! And the superb wine garden featured not only specialty cocktails by St Germain and Chandon sparkling wine, but Burgundy varietals from Van Duzer, WillaKenzie and Stoller, and Bordeaux varietals from Troon and Canas Feast, as well as Oregon’s own Pfriem beer.
Merci to Our Sponsors: Bastille in the City at Director Park was free and open to the public. Presenting sponsors are the Alliance Française of Portland and Pascal Chureau of Brasserie Montmartre. Premium Tier 1 sponsors were the French American International School and St Germain. Premium Tier 2 sponsors were Tonkon Torp, ParisCentral, Sunset Porsche Audi, the Heathman Restaurant and Hardy Cognac. In-kind sponsors were Perrier/Nestlé Waters USA, Odom Corporation, Pfriem Family Brewers and the Oregonian.
Bastille au Vignoble (in the Wine Country) on Sunday, July 15: The celebration continued on Sunday, July 15, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., at WillaKenzie Estate in the Willamette Valley where an all-inclusive $30 admission ticket (per person) included wine tastings, BBQ, live music, hayrides, sensory garden experience, and other fun “French” Activities. At the wine country event, Chef Pascal Chureau, proprietor of the Brasserie Montmartre & Allium Bistro, barbecued pork two ways creating delicious handmade sausages as well as Pork “Confit” sliders.
Portlanders double their Bastille fun by attending the free event at Director Park in downtown on Saturday, followed by the Sunday event at WillaKenzie in the wine country.
Next year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, July 13, 2013 in Director Park. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 503.223.8388 with questions. Interested vendors should also inquire to that same email. Merci!