NEW YORK—With people milling about, drinks flowing, and pétanque players enjoying a game, the streets of TriBeCa were transformed from a quiet neighborhood into a robust festival packed with hundreds of people ready to celebrate Bastille Day.
Many people at the festival seemed to be quite familiar with Bastille Day, like Arleene Oconitrillo, manager of Corton, a local restaurant.
“Today is Bastille Day, and it’s the celebration of storming the Bastille. So it’s French Independence Day. So they’re playing a little pétanque. Cercle Rouge, our neighbors, started the event, and this is the first time here on west Broadway, so it’s pretty exciting. Not everybody comes down on this obscure little block between White and Walker. It’s a lot of fun. This is going to 8:00. It’s a very competitive sport.”
Of the festivities taking place during the Bastille Day celebration, pétanque was the most noticeable. Players ranging from amateurs to professionals gathered on 12 courts laid out within the block to test their skills in the fun and competitive game.
Pétanque is very popular game played in France where people take turns throwing metal balls closest to a smaller wooden ball called the Jack. The game originated in the South of France in 1907.
Aside from the engrossing games of pétanque, the Bastille Day celebration offered a large array of activities including foosball, magicians, and raffles.
Victoria Davis, a caterer for Lillet, a French apéritif crafted in Bordeaux, especially enjoyed the day’s activities.
“[I especially enjoy] just the atmosphere, It’s a very communal atmosphere. Everyone’s excited to be here and happy, and the drinks are flowing which makes things much more relaxed.”