I'm an experienced corporate communicator and editor with an eye for interesting events and an attachment to my trusty Oxford dictionary.
You won't see the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe or Notre Dame Cathedral but you'll still feel like you're in France for the day when Brisbane's annual love affair with France, the Brisbane French Festival, returns to South Bank on Saturday July 14 2012.
What we know as Bastille Day, is called La Fête Nationale ( the National Celebration) or le Quatorze Juillet (14th July) in France and commemorates the storming of the Bastille during the French Revolution in 1789. In France it's a public holiday and Europe's largest military parade marches its way down the famous Champs-Élysées.
There won't be any soldiers or military equipment at South Bank but you will find Australia's largest French festival complete with French fashion parades (Ooh! La! La!), French food (Bon Appetite!) and a raffle with over $20,000 worth of prizes (Bonne Chance!). New for 2012 will be the Art and Artisans' Pavilion where you can browse art, jewellery and sculpture. Returning for an encore performance will be the hugely popular Kids' Corner with petanque (a form of boules), puppet demonstrations, French cooking demonstrations, and that staple of family festivals everywhere – face painting – where no doubt the red, white and blue of the drapeau tricolore (French flag) will feature prominently.
Entertainment will include French pop jazz vocalist Sylvie Boisel, duet Paris Dreaming, the Cameron Ford trio and Can Can performances. Representatives from French stores, restaurants, wine merchants and educators will also be on hand to show you how to experience the legendary French joie de vivre (the cheerful, hearty enjoyment of life) right here in Brisbane, and let's face it, the French seem to know what they're talking about in that department. Jaunty market stalls will also be featured.
It's not too late to get involved. If you would like to be an exhibitor you can download an exhibitor kit here. If you're a francophile who'd just love to be involved as an enthusiastic volunteer, registrations will be taken closer to the event. If you're a French entertainer you can email your proposal to info@brisbanefrenchfestival with "entertainment" in the subject line.
4,000 tickets at just $5 per ticket are available in the raffle from Alliance Francaise, 262 Montague Rd, West End. Prizes include trips to Paris, Phuket, Nouméa and Cairns.