Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bastille Day

Every July the Eastern State Penitentiary hosts a Bastille Day festival, which includes a comic reenactment of the storming of the Bastille.  Eastern State is an excellent location for this, as the outer walls are quite imposing.
There is a French-themed street fair prior to the Storming.  Some French food, lots of can-can dancers, a drag queen Edith Piaf, wandering accordion players, mimes, etc.

Some friends and I, including our own personal Frenchie Friend, Marion, attended.  Pictured are Val, Marion, and Mia decked out in their revolutionary garb.  I made us all ribbon rosettes, and the flags and other pins were hand-outs.
Our French accessories, including a copy of La Marsellaise, which we all sang very badly at one point during the storming.  Marion, of course, knew it perfectly, and after the singing announced that the woman leading it had sung it "weird".
Val, me, Mia, and Marion.
Guillotine - for watermelon chopping only.
The Storming of the Bastille is led by a small group of Revolutionaries clustered around the guillotine.  They yell, the crowd yells, and eventually Marie Antoinette appears at the top of the battlements.

Marie Antoinette and her minions, including Darth Vader and some Imperial Storm Troopers.  Remember, this is a comedic reenactment.
The public demands bread and the queen says, "Let them eat Tastykake!" as the minions shovel hundreds of Tastykakes off of the Penitentiary walls and into the crowd.  We didn't get any, as the day was hot and the Tastykakes seemed a little gross.  After the Tastykakes, there is a trial and Marie Antoinette is condemned to death by guillotine.  This year, however, M.A.'s sentence of death was commuted, and she was sentenced to being Arnold Schwarzenegger's nanny.  She was not pleased, and stated that she's rather have her head cut off.


Lea said...

Nice to see the eastern half of the state has something to compete with Brockway's Old Fashioned 4th celebration.

Darth Vader was a nice touch.

Mum said...

Looks like a fun event. The picture of Marie Antoinette, Darth Vader, and Storm Troopers on the wall made me laugh. Nice job on the ribbon rosettes. They look great!

Mary Ann said...

Looks like a great time was had by all! Your ribbons are awesome!