Bastille Day Party at L’Enfant Cafe-Bar: French Maid Race and Masquerade Ball, July14th

Photo courtesy of L’Enfant Cafe Bar

From a press release:

“In celebration of their 6th Annual Bastille Day Block Party and French Maid Race, L’Enfant Café Bar, 2200 18th Street, NW, announces it has added a masquerade ball to its popular Bastille Day festivities. The annual party has grown so popular, the casual café-bar has made arrangement to once again close an entire city block. Co-hosted by King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette – who bear a striking resemblance to L’Enfant’s owners Jim Ball and Christopher Lynch – the Bastille Day Block Party will take over Vernon Street, NW, between 18th and 19th Streets. Doors open at 4p.m. and the street party concludes at 11p.m. Newcomers need look no further than the corner bar at 18th Street (at Vernon) topped with an Eiffel Tower and draped with les drapeaux Tricolor. The guillotine out front is a dead giveaway.

Continues after the jump.

The entrance fee to D.C.’s most revolutionary party is $5 for commoners and royalty alike. Guests are invited to chill to DJs and enjoy street bars and food stalls in anticipation of the arrival of the Absolute Monarch, his queen and courtiers who will attend the French maid races. L’Enfant will offer food and drink specials and door prizes will be awarded by the King all evening.

The French maid race will start at 8p.m., July 14th.  L’Enfant will provide costumes for up to 40 competitors.
The entrance fee ($25) will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation. Racers must don the traditional short, frilly black and white lace apron dress and prepare to be silly. and get wet The object of the race is to fill a Champagne glass with soup spoons of water by running back and forth between the coupe and a bucket of water. Winners in categories including “Fastest”, “Shortest Skirt” and “His Majesty’s Favorite” will win prizes including a magnum of Champagne. No participant shall lose their head. Says co-owner Jim Ball with a wink, “Our annual French Maid Race has all of the fun and excitement of the Grand Prix with none of the elegance.”

After the races, L’Enfant will debut a new twist to the street party: a masquerade ball. DJ booths will be rolled into Vernon Street and all attendees will be gifted with a mask. The dancing on the street will conclude at 11p.m. when the street party ends. Dancing will continue inside L’Enfant Café Bar until its official closing time of 2 a.m.

Schedule of events:

4 p.m. Bastille Day Block Party Kicks Off
6 p.m. Arrival of King Louis XVI
8 p.m. French Maid Race
8:30pm Arrival of Queen Marie Antoinette and courtiers
9 p.m. Masquerade Ball on Vernon Street NW between 18th and 19th Streets
11 p.m. Last dance and revelers are invited inside L’Enfant”

31 Comment

  • I never miss this event. What better way to celebrate a long heritage of military cowardice and culinary superiority than to tromp around Adams Morgan along with a cadre of drunken French maids? I love it!

  • Military cowardice? Is that the same military cowardice that revealed itself on the battle fields of the south when the French lead the charge against the British during the American Revolutionary War?

    Or is it the cowardice the French displayed in liberating Paris with two military forces and assistance from the US 4th Infantry years after being abandoned by the British at Dunkirk?

    Just looking for a little clarity.

    • You provide two exceptions to the “long heritage” – the second of which is quite questionable. Liberation of Paris had more to do with the weakened Germans vacating due to the impending onslaught of the Allies. Leclerc was permitted, by Eisenhower, to march ahead of the U.S. and British in order to mend the injured pride of the Parisians. Is that clarity enough?

      • Yes, and we all know that a country’s military performance/courage/victories/weaponry/etc. is the best measure of that society’s worth.

  • Furthermore, the problem with using French involvement in the American Revolution as an example of bravery is that the absolute French Monarchy bled and starved its own people to support their pre-revolutionary military mite. Economic interests were the heart of the French involvement. If you’re proud of an army constructed under these conditions – an improverished French population, total dictatorship and economic motivation – then you have a point, they were mightily brave.

  • Has there ever been a war that didn’t have economic interests at its core?

  • Causes of war – Religion, borders, resources, regional domination, global domination, etc. Most have some degree of economics at the core, not all. America of the 1780s needed French money and in exchange for French support Washington was besieged with requests to make high-ranking/high-paying appointments for inept and aged French soldiers and aristocrats. Parts of Canada and the then west were controlled or influenced by the French and they wanted to maintain access. Merci.

    • Last one and then i am done – ‘borders, resources, regional domination, global domination’ are all pretty much tied with economics. De rein.

  • Blah blah blah, I just wanna know if there will be any drink specials!!

  • Ebay ad:
    “French Infantry Rifle for sale. Never fired. Only dropped once.”

  • You French bashers have yet to provide a single example of this “long heritage of military cowardice.” One might cite the French defense at the beginning of WWII, or the invasion of Russia by Napoleon’s army as questionable French military strategies that failed, but there is nothing in the history of the French military that could support in any fashion your ludicrous statement about any heritage of cowardice. I’d suggest you start with a dictionary, and look up the meaning of that term, before you post further.

  • General Norman Schwartzkof:
    “Going to war without the French is like going deer hunting without your accordion.”

  • General Patton on the French:
    “I would rather have a German division in front of me than a French one behind me.”

  • Reginald “Red” Forman on the French:
    “bunch of cheese-chewing surrender monkeys!”

  • The French on TaylorStreetMan:


    • Ouch! The French don’t know who I am?! I am devastated! What a zinger, too! Congrats.

    • I had to look it up – he’s the father on that 70s show. Very funny.

      • oops. my mistake. I assumed when Jim said “The French on TaylorStreetMan” he actually meant “The French on TaylorStreetMan”

        thanks for answering for me, HAHAHA. Glad you liked it. I love Red.

    • i believe you mean “qui?”

  • No on has pointed out the obvious problem here: why are there dudes in french maid outfits? That is just plain wrong.

  • Everyone please google french military victories and that should put the matter to rest once and for all.

    • Courageous and victorious are not synonyms. I’ve probably wasted my time typing that, since you undoubtedly have no idea what a synonym is.

  • “Your search – french military victories – did not match any documents. Suggestions: – Make sure all words are spelled correctly. – Try different keywords. …”

  • Q: What’s the difference between toast and Frenchmen?
    A: You can make soldiers out of toast!

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