Napastille Day at the Oxbow Market

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bastille_day.jpgLiberte, Egalite, Block Parté

by Deirdre Bourdet

'Tis the season of Independence Day celebrations, and Francophiles in the Napa area will be fête-ing le quatorze juillet (aka Bastille Day) at the Oxbow Market - this year. Live music, dancing, games, and--bien sûr--a wide variety of frenchy food specials will celebrate 220 years of Gallic freedom in appropriately hedonistic style.

Starting at noon, Toni Cordioli and his Accordion Gang will roam the market and transport you to Paris, only without the b.o. and pushy donation collection. Cooper masters from Nadalie USA will be there from 2-6 to demonstrate the fine art of barrel-making--an entirely different kind of French toast we rarely get to see.
At 5pm, the Frisky Frolics (named "Best Band for the New Depression" by the SF Bay Guardian) will surprise and delight with their sassy and ukelele-driven 1920s favorites. From 7:30 on, the enchanting (and charmingly named) Allison Lovejoy will perform classic French standards on the piano, from Gainsbourg to Debussy.

Cafe Bordelais plateau de fromages.jpgMarket vendors will break out the ratatouille, Quiche Lorraine, madeleines, and profiteroles (among other things) to salute the innumerable edible delights the French have devised over the years. None of them will contain any saturated fat or cholesterol whatsoever, for this is a holiday when such evils do not exist. French wines will also be at the ready for those who wish to test the "French paradox" for themselves.

And, of course, there will be fromage galore.

Bring the kids for free cheese tastings all day, because they're never too young to eat fresh chèvre. Bring a French dessert to enter in the Model Bakery competition. Or just bring a friend to laugh with as you cheer on the impassioned pétanque players by the river.
Berets optional, joie de vivre required.

"Napastille Day"
July 14, 2009, 10am-9pm (approximately)
Oxbow Public Market
610 and 644 1st Street, Napa
707.226.6529

NB: DUI-free rides home are available with advance reservations from the Vine's FlexRide car service ($2 each way, 707.251.2800), and NV Hoppers (707.224.4677 www.nvhoppers.com).

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