Sacramento Bastille Day Waiters’ Race and Street Festival


To be honest, I don’t “get” the Bastille Day celebrations in Sacramento. I mean, it’s not that I’m not familiar with the history—I know that it’s the French version of Independence Day and is celebrated on the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and the abolishment of feudalism. Great! But why do we get so gung-ho about it in Sacramento? Is it because we will take any chance we can get to party and we are all secret Francophiles? Perhaps so. I won’t begrudge our town the chance to feel worldly and drink a little wine in the streets.

So it’s Bastille Day (or Bastille Day Eve, since the actual holiday is celebrated on the 14th in France) this upcoming Sunday. For the fifth year in a row, the Handle District is closing down L Street between 18th and 19th for the Bastille Day waiters’ race and street festival. Up to 50 waiters from around the region will be racing to the finish line with a tray stacked with glasses of water. The first to finish without spilling their water or dropping the tray wins a prize. After that comes the kids waiter race for all the speedy aspiring waiters out there. Also at the festival will be live French music, lessons in basic French, free food samples from local restaurants, drink vendors, a photo booth, face painting, balloon art, costumed characters and more. You don’t have to know a lick of French to come out and have fun. All you need is that special joie de vivre and you’ll be plenty welcome. For more information, see here.

What: Sacramento Bastille Day Waiters’ Race and Street Festival
When: Sunday, July 13, noon–3 p.m.
Where: 1800 L St., Sacramento
Cost: Free