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“Joing le plaisir et être le plaisir.” (Join the Fun and be the fun.)

 Celebrate Bastille Day at the Annual Santa Barbara French Festival, at Oak Park.

One of Santa Barbara’s favorite festivals celebrates the exciting, rich and entertaining French culture. Get ready to enjoy great food, wine, mimosas, crepes, delicious pastries, music, dance and, of course, the infamous Canine Cavalcade. The Festival is fun & free for the entire family!

The Santa Barbara French Festival is a community event that draws people from corners near and far. It’s a Dance Festival, a Music Festival, an Arts & Crafts Festival and, of course, a Food Festival.

For two days Santa Barbara celebrates its nickname “the American Riviera,” as the French Festivities transform Oak Park. Our little French village comes to life at 11:00 am when the entertainment kicks off on three different stages and continues non-stop until 7:00 pm, both days. The stages will be filled with dance and music from more than 30 different acts including performances, audience participation and instruction. The favorites return every year: Tango, Django Reinhardt tributes, and of course, the Femme Fatales Drag Revue! You will see Can-Can and French Polynesian dancers, West African Belly dancing, French arias and every minute of entertainment is free! You’ll be amazed at the scope of music that Accordions can provide as we dedicate an entire stage to The Accordion International Music Society of Santa Barbara. There is even a dance floor for those who would like to take a spin to the accordion melodies.  We encourage you to join the fun and BE THE FUN!

The entertainment doesn’t stop at the stage. Fun flows throughout the festival. Indulge in the fabulous cuisine, engage your friends or the King’s Court in a game of Pétanque. Relax with some delicious French wine, soda or beer while you enjoy a demonstration of period armored combat. Join the French Conversation Booth, or shop for French tablecloths. The youngsters will delight in the droid scavenger hunt, having their faces painted, or meeting the participants of the Canine Cavalcade.

Speaking of the Canine Cavalcade . . . When we say fun for the “entire family,” we mean the ENTIRE FAMILY. Don’t forget to bring along your dog-&-people-friendly canine family members. The Festival is on-leash dog-friendly and features The Annual Canine Cavalcade ~ a parade for you and your four-legged friends on Saturday & Sunday.  The Canine Cavalcade begins at the base of the Eiffel Tower on Saturday and Sunday at 6:00, and culminates on the Eiffel Stage where each participant enjoys their moment in the spotlight. There is even a costume contest, complete with prizes! So frost your visual Flaugnarde and join the cavalcade of pups and their faithful humans as they strut their stuff.

With mimosas in hand, fans return every year to peruse more than 60 booths that offer everything from delicious crepes, to phenomenal art and photography, fairy wings, fashion and jewelry and everyone’s favorite: The official French Festival booth that sells T-shirts and Berets!

Pétanque

Exercise your hand and brain while playing the French game of Pétanque.
Pronounced "pay-tonk", one of Europe's most popular outdoor games, is a cousin of both horseshoes and of the Italian bowling game called 'bocce'. The game originated in the South of France in the early 1900's.
 

Raffle

Win Prizes and Raise Funds for one of the most charming and giving community theaters in Santa Barbara.

Buy some raffle tickets & win fantastic prizes! All proceeds benefit Center Stage Theater and Speaking of Stories.
 
French Conversation Booth
Converse and Play: Parlez vous Francais? Have a seat and enjoy speaking with other fluent or practicing French.

While there, enjoy a game of Mille Bornes, French for “A thousand milestones” it is listed in GAMES Magazine Hall Of Fame.

The premise of Mille Bornes is that the players are in a road race. Each race—or hand—is usually 700 miles (or kilometers) long, but the first player to complete that distance exactly has the option to declare an extension in which case the race becomes 1,000 miles.
 

Scavenger Hunt

More Prizes to be had. One of our greatest French Festival Fans photographed her companion, R2D2 on various adventures throughout her adventures in Paris. Find photos hidden around the Festival of our little droid friend, collect them to win yet additional prizes!
 

Guilde de St. Marie

We’ll take you back to 16th Century France with live actors and actresses meandering the festival in authentic characters and costume of the “Court Of Blood and Silk,” a group of various courtiers vying for the attention of the Royal Family of 1581.

 

Photo Ops Galore

Snap a selfie with Napoleon, become Mona Lisa, talk your friends into the jaws of the guillotine, or join the Cavalcade de Chiens (Canine Parade) with your dog.


Fun Facts!

Did you know there is a Victor Hugo street in every town in France? Or that in France it’s illegal to take pictures of police officers? That French was the official language of England for more than 300 years?  Throughout the Festival grounds you will find signs with Fun Facts about various aspects of French life, history and culture.  Come learn and if you know some fun facts we have missed please share them with us by email or social media!