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Frenchtown celebrates Bastille Day with annual fete

Frenchtown, N.J.’s, annual Bastille Day Fete celebrates the borough’s French Flair from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13.

“French’s Town” was settled by Henri Mallet-Prevost, a Swiss fugitive of the French Revolution. Mallet-Prevost ran to New Jersey to escape the guillotine, and the other French-speaking settlers found their way to this corner of the Delaware Valley and voila – Frenchtown was born.

Learn more about Frenchtown’s colorful history and enjoy all things Francais during the riverside celebration featuring music, art, puppets, pot throwing and the signature Server Race.

Kick off the day with a Quiche Breakfast at Frenchtown United Methodist Church from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Festivities in Sunbeam Lenape Park begin at noon; visitors can enjoy music, food, art and a special guest appearance by Marie Antoinette.

Plein air artists will be found around the corner and along the river capturing the beauty and unique vistas of Frenchtown.

Festival-goers can grab a complimentary French flag at The Junto Emporium, watch some pot throwing and drink a signature cocktail at Dalla Terra and then visit the other shops and galleries throughout Frenchtown for special sales, activities, food, raffles and much more.

Madame DeFarge will be knitting away at The Spinnery. Visitors might even run into Marie Antoinette sampling a little wine at Olive with a Twist. The Book Garden will once again host the River Union Stage Kids Puppet Show.

Frenchtown history enthusiast Rick Epstein will conduct two different historical tours – the Downtown Tour at 1 p.m. and the Bad Luck & Poor Choices Tour at 3 p.m. The Downtown Tour covers Frenchtown landmarks and personalities; Bad Luck offers a dozen entertaining stories.

Tours are $15 per person, and start in front of the Book Garden. No registration is required that day; just show up. Call or text 908-200-0480.

The annual Server Races take place at 4 p.m. in Sunbeam Park. Anyone with experience carrying a full cocktail tray is invited to test his or her skills. Registration is at 3 p.m. and the cost is $5 – winner takes all.

The Bastille Day Fete will wind down with a Picque-nique in the Parc from 5 to 7 p.m. To pre-register, contact Colleen at The Frenchtown Inn ftinn7@gmail. Money will be collected on the day of the race.

The day’s musical lineup includes Dallas Vietty and the Musketeers Project, and Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society.

Bastille Day is organized by the Frenchtown Business & Professional Association. Visit and LoveFrenchtown on Facebook for the latest information.

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