Ever Played Petanque?

On the morning of July 14, 1789, thousands of French “commoners” stormed the Bastille, a medieval fortress in Paris, winning a symbolic victory for the people during the French Revolution.

July 14 is now commemorated by the French as Bastille Day, a national holiday celebrating the birth of modern France (you know, like a Fourth of July, for France).

On July 10, 2011, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn will host the “biggest Bastille Day celebration in the U.S.,” according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. For the ninth year in a row, Smith Street will transform into a celebration of French food, drink and music.

The festival’s petanque tournament is a particularly big draw — the pavement on Smith Street between Bergen and Pacific will be completely covered with sand to accommodate the playing field.

Petanque is somewhat similar to bocce. Players score points by tossing metal balls as close as possible to a smaller wooden ball.

What do petanque and the French Revolution have in common? We’re still not sure, but we’re willing to make the trip to Boerum Hill to find out.

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