New Orleans: Vive la France!

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Bastille Day

Parlez-vous français? Well, this is your chance! The French National Holiday is this month and the city of New Orleans is about to come alive with its French-ness and celebrate its roots.

On July 14, 1789, an angry mob of Parisians stormed the Bastille, a prison fortress in Paris. The Bastille was a symbol of the Royal authority in France, and this day marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the movement toward democracy. Bastille Day, known to the French as le quatorze juillet (The 14th of July) and la fête nationale (The National Holiday), is the French equivalent of our Independence Day.

Bastille Day and the ensuing French Revolution had its effect on our beloved state as well. In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte, a general during the time of the French Revolution, sold the largest piece of territory his country owned in North America in what became known as the Louisiana Purchase, thus making it a part of the United States.

To this day, we celebrate our French roots. All throughout the week of July 7, you can indulge in a vast sampling of French culture, from food to film to just downright fun. Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., the Alliance Française de la Nouvelle-Orléans on Jackson Avenue will be giving cooking classes on French cuisine. Each night focuses on a different culinary region in France. Check out the details at

On Friday, July 11, you can enjoy a French film under the night sky. Saturday is a day of festivities in both the Spanish Plaza and the Faubourg St. John neighborhood. Dress up your woofer, tour the French quartier, and picnic at Washington Square Park. No matter what you do, don’t miss this chance to connect with our French heritage. For more information and a more detailed schedule, visit and And as always, have fun and stay safe. À très bientôt!


Photo Credit: Willy_G91 via Compfight cc

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By George Vourvoulias

George is a founding member and managing member of Harmon, Smith & Vourvoulias L.L.C., a New Orleans law firm. George concentrates his practice in maritime personal injury, construction litigation, personal injury, workers' compensation, medical malpractice, and DUI defense. George Vourvoulias's Google+ Profile