LOS ANGELES (CBS) — The month of July will always be known to Americans for Independence Day, but this month the French are also celebrating a revolution all their own.
Bastille Day on July 14 marks the beginning of the end of the reign of King Louis XVI when a group of craftsmen and other Parisian revolutionaries who were discontented with the monarchy stormed the Bastille, a prison that was a symbol of the King’s absolute and arbitrary power.
The revolt sparked the French Revolution that ultimately replaced the king with a republican form of government.
In honor of that pivotal day, thousands of Angelenos are expected to head to Elysian Park this weekend for the Bastille Day Los Angeles Festival, where there will be a Parisian waiters race, street performers including comedians, singers, artists, French Market vendors, and of course a healthy variety of French food and wine.
And if you’re looking for a heftier helping of Bastille Day, you can head down to Fig & Olive on Melrose, a newly-opened West Hollywood eatery that will serving up complimentary French wine and cheese tasting, live music and a special two-course prix-fixe menu for those who don’t know how to say “non merci”.
Or if wine and cheese aren’t your thing, you could just use the holiday as another excuse to sample some of the city’s best crepes at eateries from the San Fernando Valley to Orange County.
So fear not, Francophiles : this Bastille Day, you can have your cake — or crepe — and eat it, too.