Sunday, March 18 , 2018, 3:36 am | Fair 45º


Bastille Day Celebration Takes Over Santa Barbara’s Oak Park

Thousands flock to 24th annual French Festival, which continues Sunday

A spirit of joie de vivre swept over Oak Park for Bastille Day on Saturday as thousands of people moved in to enjoy the 24th annual Santa Barbara French Festival.

Under a sprawling canopy of oaks, thousands of people took in the French music and dance and even got to taste the fare.

Food stalls rife with indulgences like champagne, escargot and crêpes gave festival goers a chance to sample some highlights.

Over at the Moulin Rouge Stage, dozens of adventurous attendees joined in and got a free dance lesson from Balaton, a folk-dancing troupe that has played at every French Festival since it started 24 years ago.

“People seem to really enjoy it,” said Balaton’s Stephanie Johnson, who helped lead the group of dancers in several traditional French line dances.

The festival’s originator, Steve Hoegerman, was also working Saturday to make sure audiences were enjoying themselves. Hoegerman began the festival in 1988, and it’s the first year since Center Stage Theater and Speaking of Stories have taken over management of the event.

Those who missed the fun Saturday will get their chance to join in on the fun Sunday, when the festival continues from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Oak Park, 300 W. Alamar Ave. Admission is free.

Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara French Festival, or for a complete schedule of Sunday’s events.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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