Whether you’re a revolutionary or a royalist, there’s something for you during the weekend-long Bastille Day festivities in Fairmount. (Photo by Darryl W. Moran)
The bombastic Bastille Day Festival takes over Eastern State Penitentiary and the Fairmount neighborhood on Saturday, July 13, with a daylong blowout block party and performance in honor of the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille, the turning point of the French Revolution.
Such a momentous event deserves way more than just a single day of partying, though.
The bars and restaurants of the vibrant Fairmount neighborhood step up with celebratory specials on libations and more starting Thursday, July 11 and continuing through brunch on Sunday, July 14.
Take Bastille Day by storm and head to the Fairmount neighborhood to celebrate Bastille Day weekend with daily events and dining specials.
Thursday, July 11
• Fairmount French Fling Bar Crawl with Kronenbourg: Say “Á votre santé!” to Bastille Day in Fairmount on a 10-stop bar crawl with Kronenbourg 1664 brews. Starting at 6:30 p.m. at The Belgian Cafe and wrapping up at London Grill, the French-beer-fueled event includes beer specials and swag giveaways.
Friday, July 12
• Kronenbourg Tastings: Keep sipping in honor of the French Revolution and score free samples of Kronenbourg 1664 and Kronenbourg Blanc at bars throughout the neighborhood from 9 to 11 p.m. Start at Alla Spinna and La Calaca Feliz for samples at 9 p.m., followed by free sips at Belgian Cafe and Bishop’s Collar at 9:40 p.m., Fare and Brigid’s at 10:20 p.m., Lemon Hill and Urban Saloon at 11 p.m. and Brown Street Pub and Rembrandt’s at 11:30 p.m.
• Fairmount Goes French Wheel of Fortune Night: Starting at 7 p.m. at London Grill, test your knowledge of France with trivia fit for Francophiles for a chance to win prizes.
Saturday, July 13
• Bastille Day Festival: The main event, Eastern State Penitentiary’s Bastille Day Festival brings the French Revolution to Fairmount. Once again, the Penitentiary teams-up with the always-entertaining Bearded Ladies for a hilariously campy show culminating in a mock-storming of the Bastille — for which Eastern State Penitentiary makes a perfect stand-in. Revolutionaries take over, Marie Antoinette cries “Let them eat Tastykake!” and 3,000 Tastykakes are flung into the crowds from the prison’s towers.
• Bastille Day After-Party: After the rousing performance and block party, Fairmount’s businesses and restaurants open their doors for a public celebration that lasts until the wee hours. London Grill and Paris Wine Bar keep the festivities going strong with a street party featuring The West Philadelphia Orchestra and lasting until midnight. Other Fairmount participating restaurants to offer up special menus on Saturday include The Belgian Cafe, Hickory Lane, Isabel, Mugshots and Rembrandt’s.
Sunday, July 14
• Bastille Day Brunch at London Grill: After the last Tastykake has been eaten, move on to a day-after celebratory brunch, with plenty of specials on Champagne and a make your own Bloody “Marie” bar.
Bastille Day in Fairmount
When: July 11-14
Where: Bars and restaurants of Fairmount; Eastern State Penitentiary, 2020 Fairmount Avenue
Cost: Pay as you go
More info: www.easternstate.org