Sunday, May 27 , 2018, 3:05 pm | Fair 66º


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Santa Barbara Gets Its French Accent On with Annual Bastille Day Celebration

French Festival transforms Oak Park into an Old World wonderland, and continues Sunday with food, music, dancing and jousting combat


Santa Barbara’s Oak Park has been transformed into a miniature French village.

High energy can-can dancers were twirling their colorful ruffled petticoats, a beret-wearing French bulldog came dressed to impress and fresh pastries could be smelled from a block away.

French culture was celebrated Saturday at the 29th Annual Santa Barbara French Festival.

The event featured French food and wine, dancing, live entertainment at two stages, a 15th century-style French deeds of arms combat tournament, and games for all ages.

Guests filled up on beignets, croissants and crêpes.

The festival benefits the nonprofit Center Stage Theater and Speaking of Stories, a nonprofit organization promoting the appreciation of literature through live theatrical readings and educational programs.

The two-day festival draws between 12,000 and 15,000 Francophiles. It coincides with France’s Bastille Day, which commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14 July, 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution.

“We have people saying that the festival gets better every year,” said Karen Perkins, who does marketing for the event. “It is a family-friendly event, and we recognize that four-legged animals are family, too.”

The free celebration continues 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday at Oak Park, 300 W. Alamar Ave.

Sunday’s lineup includes ballroom dance performances, French Polynesian dance, can-can dancers, French and rock music, and Les Femmes Fatales Drag Revue Show at 5:35 p.m.

At 6 p.m., four-legged friends are welcomed to join the annual Canine Cavalcade parade.

Cats and rabbits have made an appearance too, Perkins said.

Click here for a complete entertainment schedule.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland 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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