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Today is July 14th, for some it’s just another Thursday, for others it’s the birthday of the French republic. If you’re in the latter camp, then make sure you take some time to celebrate tonight. Below, see the list of places we feel you should lose your head at (bad puns not required):

For the seventh year in a row, L’Enfant Cafe will host the city’s most notorious Bastille day-long activities in honor of the French holiday, including a masquerade ball (don’t have a mask, don’t worry-they’ll give you one) The main attaction, aka the French Maid Race will start at 8 PM.  Again, don’t have a French maid outfit? Worry not- L’enfant will provide all the short, frilly dresses and aprons for the competitors, and as an added bonus of feeling good while drinking/cross-dressing: all entrance fee proceeds ($2) will go to Make a Wish Foundation. Awards will be given out to the “fastest,” “shortest skirt,” and “his majesty’s favorite.”

Getting in on the fun, the relatively newly opened DC outpost of Paul’s Bakery and Cafe in the West End is hosting a relay race (with a baquette, instead of a baton) around the U.S. Navy Memorial, led by their staff. Competitors will be divided into teams of six and each member of the winning team receives a $25 gift card to the bakery.

  • BISTROT DU COIN Bastille Day Bash

As always with a French holiday, if you’re looking for a straight-up party, Bistrot du Coin is probably the way to go. To quote Fritz Hahn in the Post: For most of the evening, it’s (LOUD) business as usual at the lively French restaurant, if slightly more crowded. Then, around 11, tables and chairs are moved out of the way, a DJ cranks up pumping house music and, before you know it, women are dancing on the zinc-topped bar, expats are shouting to be heard over the din and friends are hoisting beers while singing French football songs.

Happy Hour starts @ 5:30PM but the half-off champagne cocktails go on ALL NIGHT. If this is not enough of a selling point (and it should be) stick around after dinner as they get their our own revolution underway, (an “oh so French Electronic” one), courtesy of Jubilee Mo and Navbox spinning from 9pm till 2 am

Festivities will be running all day at Hillwood including events for children, and performances from Opera Lafayette and New York Baroque Dance Company. At 7:30, the party moves to the Alliance Française and a handful of lucky participants will ride to the Alliance in the classic Citroen. At the Alliance, guests will be greeted by an authentic atmosphere complete with crepes, French cheese and Champagne. The after party will feature live music, a silent auction with French items, and a DJ, mixing traditional French music with the top chart hits of today.

In case you’re in the mood to go fancy (tickets are $100), this is the party for you. Chefs from Michel Richard’s Citronelle, Cafe du Parc, Bistrot Lepic and Wine Bar, and Et Voila! will cook for you, there is are cocktails and a silent auction and the proceeds will go to Comité Tricolore, a nonprofit dedicated to helping those in need among the French-American community in Washington.

RESTAURANTS & MORE INFO WISEWashingtonian has a very nice list of specials local French places are running and Washington Post’s Bastille Day guide is an old faithful.

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