The Santa Barbara French Festival is a community event not to be missed celebrating Bastille Day and all the things that make the French cultural history so rich. Great food, wine, mimosas, crepes, delicious pastries, music, dance -- and, of course, the infamous Poodle Parade! It's a Dance Festival, a Music Festival, an Arts & Crafts Festival and, of course, a Food Festival. Now it is also a fundraising event for two great Santa Barbara area nonprofits, Center Stage Theater and Speaking of Stories.
For two days Santa Barbara truly is the American Riviera as the French influences take over Oak Park. Each day the fun starts at 11:00am when the entertainment kicks off on three different stages and continues non-stop until 7:00pm. The stages are filled with performers from Santa Barbara and all over California. Thirty different acts fill the three stages with dance and music including performances and even instruction.
In the mood to watch some Can-Can, or Tahitian dancers, or maybe you would like to learn how to do some traditional folk dancing or Cajun waltzes? It's all here, and more.
If music is more your style, there's Santa Barbara favorite Kalinka and the Montecito Jazz Project, or tribute performances to Edith Piaf and Django Reinhardt, and even the French Johnny Cash. Folsom Prison Blues in French is a treat you won't want to miss!
The finale of each day of entertainment is a wild and wonderful performance by the Femmes Fatales--Santa Barbara's favorite Drag Revue. And every minute of entertainment is all free!
But the entertainment is only part of what the Festival has to offer--more than 50 booths offer everything from crepes and delicious French pastries to face painting and henna tattoos. You can grab a mimosa or a beer, as you peruse some beautiful paintings and photography. Enjoy a delicious le hot dog while shopping for your French Festival t-shirt and beret. Take a moment for a quick massage and browse the offerings from Paris Street Boutique before you settle in for the next performance and a sinfully good croissant. All in the beautiful setting of Santa Barbara's Oak Park.
On Sunday afternoon Santa Barbara's four-legged friends take center stage with the infamous Poodle Parade! Poodles large, small and wanna-be will display their style and panache in one of the Festival's favorite events. All licensed poodles (and even those who just aspire to be a poodle) are welcome to participate, for more information visit frenchfestival.com to sign up and become part of this great tradition.