Photo courtesy L’Enfant Cafe Bar
From a press release:
“To celebrate Bastille Day, L’Enfant Café Bar is throwing their 10th annual Bastille Day Block Party from 3-11 p.m. on Saturday, July 12, 2014. Entry to D.C.’s ever-revolutionary summer party is $10.
A Washington, DC favorite, the European-style restaurant hosts the largest Bastille Day party in the nation’s capital. The event features a French maid race, a cavalcade of can-can dancers, a raffle for round-trip travel for two from Washington (DCA) to Paris (CDG), courtesy of American Airlines, and a wild masquerade ball. Guests are gifted with masks and encouraged to dance under the stars.
Says co-owner Christopher Lynch, “What started in 2004 as a Champagne toast on our patio with a kooky French maid race for our friends and staff has become a neighborhood tradition. We’ve added new elements, but ultimately, we’re sticklers for tradition. We have ordered more French maid costumes and masks than ever before, and will stamp Bastille Day 2014 with our usual je ne sais quoi, even as we celebrate two days early.”
Co-hosted by King Louis XVI (who looks strikingly similar to L’Enfant co-owner Jim Ball), L’Enfant’s Bastille Day Block Party will again take place adjacent to the restaurant (2000 18th Street NW) blocking the entire length of Vernon Street NW, between 18th and19th Sts., in lower Adams Morgan.
Guests are invited to chill to DJs and enjoy five street bars serving Stella Artois, Hoegaarden and Leffe beers, white wine and a vodka cocktail. A food truck station will offer refreshments from popular purveyors including DC Slices, Rito Loco and Crepes Parfait.
Ever popular, the French maid relay race will start at 6 p.m. L’Enfant will provide costumes for 40 competitors (for $20 each). Racers, men and women, must each wear the extremely short black and white maid costume to participate. The winner is the first to fill a Champagne glass with soup spoons of water by running back and forth across the street. Notes Jim Ball, “It’s got all of the fun and excitement of the Grand Prix, and none of the elegance.”
Following the race, there will be numerous burlesque performances on the main stage, and a raffle for two roundtrip tickets to Paris, courtesy of American Airlines. Then Queen Marie Antoinette will gift attendees with a mask, and DJs will keep the crowds dancing under the stars until a fire dance performance at 10:55 p.m. signals the end of the evening.
L’Enfant Café Bar is a locally owned business with a history of supporting neighborhood causes. Their 2014 community partner is Sitar Arts Center. Chosen for its work in creating transformational arts education opportunities for underserved children and youth, the center has operated in the heart of Adams Morgan since 2000.
Schedule of events:
3 p.m. Bastille Day Block Party opens
3:30-3:45 p.m. Children’s performance
5 p.m. Arrival of King Louis XIV
5:05 p.m. Can-can dance performance on Stella Artois main stage
6 p.m. French Maid Race on Vernon Street
6:30-7:30 p.m. Burlesque performances
8:45 p.m. Drawing for round-trip economy class travel for two, courtesy of American Airlines, from Washington, DC to Paris, France
9 p.m. Arrival of Queen Marie Antoinette and her courtiers kick off DC’s largest outdoor masquerade ball
10:55 p.m. Last dance and fire dancer performance
L’Enfant Café Bar, 2000 18th Street, NW, Washington, DC: 202-319-1800; www.lenfantcafe.com
Advance “Express Entry” tickets available via www.lenfantcafe.com”
2000 18th Street, NW