Santa Barbara French Festival

Posted on Jul 14 by SEASONS Magazine

This weekend come celebrate Bastille Day at the 29th Annual French Festival, July 15-16 at Oak Park, 300 W. Alamar Ave. The Santa Barbara French Festival celebrates rich and entertaining French culture. You can enjoy delicious food, wine, music, dance, arts and crafts, and the infamous Canine CavalcadeThe festival is fun and free for the entire family! 

The festival comes to life at 11 a.m. with entertainment on three different stages, and continues until 7 p.m. The stages are filled with dance and music performances featuring more than 30 different acts, and some even involve audience participation and instruction. Favorite acts returning this year include Django Reinhardt tributes and the Femme Fatales Drag Revue. Visitors also watch Can-Can, French Polynesian dancers, West African Belly dancing and French arias! One entire stage is dedicated to the Accordion International Music Society of Santa Barbara, and there is a dance floor for those who like to groove to the accordion melodies. 

Santa Barbara French Festival, photo by Steven Sherrill.

Santa Barbara French Festival, photo by Steven Sherrill.

Indulge in the fabulous cuisine and engage in a game of Pétanque. Watch exciting armored tournament combat in the style of 15th century French Deeds of Arms. Relax with some delicious French wine, Diabolo French soda or Kronenbourg beer. Visitors can join the French Conversation Booth and play a game of Mille Bornes, or shop for French tablecloths and lovely hand crafted jewelry. The youngsters delight in the droid scavenger hunt, having their faces painted, or meeting Jellie Beanz, the French Bulldog mascot for the Canine Cavalcade. 

Armored Combat League at Santa Barbara French Festival, photo by Steven Sherrill.

Armored Combat League at Santa Barbara French Festival, photo by Steven Sherrill.

 The Festival is on-leash dog-friendly and features the Annual Canine Cavalcade on Saturday and Sunday, which is a parade for you and your four-legged friends. The parade begins at the base of the Eiffel Tower at 6 p.m. and culminates on the Eiffel Stage. Each participant enjoys a moment in the spotlight, and there is a costume contest with prizes! 

Fans return every year to peruse more than 60 booths that offer everything from delicious crepes, to phenomenal art and photography, fashion, jewelry, and the official French Festival booth sells berets! Also visit the Santa Barbara Travel Bureau booth for help planning a French getaway.  Stop by the Information Booth for raffle tickets and a chance to win a $500 voucher on United Airlines. 

Pacific Crepes at Santa Barbara French Festival, photo by Steven Sherrill.

Pacific Crepes at Santa Barbara French Festival, photo by Steven Sherrill.

This community event helps fund Center Stage Theatre and Speaking of Stories, two important nonprofit groups. 

For complete details on the performers, food, crafts, shopping and activities visit FrenchFestival.com

—Lohana Richmond

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