NEW YORK—New Yorkers embraced French culture as they celebrated Bastille Day, France’s National Holiday in Manhattan this Sunday.
The celebrations packed in thousands as many booths welcomed residents of all ages to partake in the annual three-block party on 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington Avenue.
Offering fun activities for kids and adults, the celebrations showed a great turnout on the beautiful sunny afternoon. Kids got excited as they got their faces painted and bought balloon hats while adults enjoyed the many French delicacies available for sale, especially the wide range of crêpes.
“The food looks fantastic,” said Christine Vasilantone from New Jersey who had stumbled upon the celebrations on her shopping trip into the city.
Bastille Day commemorates the storming of the French prison Bastille on July 14, 1789, symbolizing the end of the French monarchy and the start of a new republic.
Event goers enjoyed everything from well-known French paintings by Toulouse Lautrec to French literature. Some of the food servers even sported the quintessential black French beret with the black and white striped t-shirt.
“I love it,” said Phyllis Smith, a resident of the neighborhood. “We’re going to Paris in a few days, this is a nice preview.”
Claude Kerno is visiting New York from Colorado for the weekend. It was his first time attending the festivities. “Wonderful,” he said. He said he really enjoyed the food booths as well as the many activities offered for the kids.