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Go Oak Cliff's Bastille on Bishop Brought The Crowds Despite The Weather

By the time 7 p.m. rolled around on July 14, the lines for wine at the Bastille on Bishop celebration were several partygoers deep and remained that way even when the winds picked up and a storm rolled in.

The event, the third annual collaboration between Go Oak Cliff and Alliance Francaise of Dallas, seems to get bigger and better every year. To beat the unrelenting heat, the party started at 7 p.m., an hour later than last year. Officials with Go Oak Cliff are already mulling ways to help deal with the larger crowds, which estimates show more than doubled from last year.

Traffic was bumper-to-bumper on West Davis Street from Zang to Tyler Street as Francophiles clad in stripes and berets attempted to find one of the few street parking spots in the neighborhood surrounding the Bishop Arts District. While the festival was so crowded it appeared as if half of Dallas had shown up, the Bastille Day bash still felt like a North Oak Cliff community event, with several restaurants serving baguettes, mussels, crepes, and pastries.

A perennial vendor with a French pedigree, Oak Cliff Creperie's Jeanne-Marie Browning was serving up authentic crepes to hungry attendees. French pastry ambassador Samantha Rush of Rush Patisserie was helping man the mussel station along with chefs from Zen Sushi. Emporium Pies served sweets from their Bishop Street store, which has been almost completely remodeled thanks to David Spence of Good Space.

Kessler Park residents Karl and Lea Ann Stundins looked cool and ready to celebrate as they walked through the crowds. And Asher Roberts, son of Jason Roberts, was one of several street performers. The mohawked musician played the upright bass next to an open pizza box littered with dollar bills. Other acts included a juggler and a hoop twirler, both students of Lone Star Circus School.

It wouldn't be Bastille Day without a Petanque court provided by the Dallas Petanque Society, which gave lessons on the game, which is similar to Bocce. 

At around 8:30 p.m., the wind began to pick up and a few raindrops began to fall. That didn't dampen the fun, and revelers continued to gardez la partie vivante!

Viva La France!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012