come enjoy THE 22ND ANNUAL BASTILLE DAY FESTIVAL on july 14: fun, free, and air-conditioned

The Alliance Française de Portland presents the 22th Annual Bastille Day Festival on July 14, 2024, in celebration of the French National Holiday. Like our Fourth of July, the French National Holiday celebrates a revolution that changed a nation. In 1789 the French stormed the Bastille prison, marking the birth of the modern French nation. The storming of the Bastille symbolizes the values of Liberté, Fraternité, and Egalité which endure in the hearts of the French people and resonates world-wide.

Bal Folk from 2-3pm at Bastille Day!

What's a Bal Folk, you might ask? People all over France get together for a week of classes and all night dances to learn the traditional French folkdancing. Check out the trailer to an award-winning documentary on Bal Folk.

We're holding a Bal Folk to start out our Bastille Day celebration. From 2-3pm learn and dance French folk dances. William Watson will teach and call the dances, with songs and tunes on the accordion by Ian Clemons.

RSVP to Bastille Day to Be Entered in Our Raffle for $100!

Help us lay  in the necessary supplies for the day. RSVP for the event and as a thank you, you'll be entered in a raffle to win $100.Pick up your raffle ticket at RSVP Check In at the entrance. RSVP here. 

A Homage to the Bal des Pompiers of paris

The Firemen's Ball is a popular way to celebrate Bastille Day, Quatorze Juillet to the French.  The Bal des Pompiers originated in the Montmartre fire station on July 14, 1937, when local Parisians knocked on the door of their fire station and joined the firemen's party that was in progress. The Montmartre ball soon spread to other neighborhoods of Paris. 

The Bal des Pompiers is a time for the population to join together to commemorate the insurrection of the French people. It's an all-night occasion with music and dancing to dawn.

Our celebration will start off with a Bal Folk, traditional French folk dancing. We'll have a teacher and music and invite everyone to get out on the dance floor!


What You'll Find at the Bastille Day Festival

Live Onstage

2-3pm Ian Clemons, chansons & tunes on accordéon diatonique;
Bal Folk, taught & called by William Watson

3-5pm Too Loose Cajun Zydeco Band (pictured above)

5-6pm Djanophiles Gypsy Jazz

6-7pm  Rober & Paul Cajun Duo

Fabulous Used Book Sale

All nature of books in French, from classics to manga and thrillers. Plus books about France in English. All are deals you won't want to miss. The choices are many, so start browsing!

Wine & Beer Garden

Try out an apéritif from a range of French herbal brews with soda on the patio. Or a lovely white from Languedoc or a rosé from Provence.

There will be beer!

 Fencing Demos and Showcase

Every kid's happy to suit up and take an epée in hand. Kids of all ages -- and skill levels -- can experience the thrill of this classic sport under the guidance of the master fencers from the NW Fencing School.


Try your hand at this traditional French game. If you've played  horseshoes, you have a good start on pétanque.

Amble over to the pétanque court a block away from Castaway at NW Upshur & 19th, courtesy of sponsor Versailles Gardens.

Bratwurst  from Altengartz

Savor a bratwurst sandwich from the bratmasters at Altengartz. Vegetarian option available. The Altengartz recipe was developed from recipes brought to the midwest from Germany in the nineteenth century. 

Merci Beaucoup to Our Sponsors

In Kind Sponsors

Getting to the Festival

Find the Bastille Day at Castaway, an event venue in NW Portland: 1900 NW 18th Avenue at NW Upshur. Click for Google map.
Street parking is widely available on weekends. There is also the City Center Lot #337, entered on NW Thurman.

About the Alliance Française de Portland        

The Alliance is a chartered chapter of an international non-profit based in Paris. Our mission is to promote French culture and language. We are pleased to bring the 22nd Annual Bastille Day Festival to the Portland community of francophiles and francophones. We sponsor cultural activities related to French culture throughout the year. The Alliance maintains a French language school for continuing education, with classes year round for all levels of French learners, from beginning to advanced. 



Street parking on SW 20th St. facing the Kamm House is limited. Free parking is available in Lot A at SW 18th and SW Columbia. Please obtain a parking pass from the office. After 6 pm weekdays, students may park in the Willamette Dental lot at SW 20th and SW Jefferson as available.


The Alliance office is open 10am-3pm Monday through Friday.
Call us at 503.223.8388 during business hours or leave a message.
Email us at



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