Bastille Day Storms Square
French culture invaded Harvard Square on Wednesday as Cambridge hosted the Second Annual Bastille Day Celebration.
The festival, which featured food from Boston area restaurants, commemorated the 1789 storming of the Bastille Prison in Paris.
Boston residents flocked to Holyoke Street, which was closed to cars for the evening, to buy samples of the French cuisine and savor strains of music, the most recognizable of which was a French rendition of the chicken dance.
Sandrine's Bistro, a French restaurant located on Holyoke Street, sponsored the event.
Their booth featured Bratwurst with sauerkraut on a sourdough English bun. They also sold White Chocolate Soup with Chocolate Kougelphof, a dessert consisting of milky chocolate and cake.
Across the way, Pho Republique, a Vietnamese restaurant located in Boston, served up cold sesame noodles and fresh spring rolls.
Ambrosia, the self-described "SoHo meets Back-Bay eatery" was there to advertise their new "tea sorbets." At a pricey $3 per pint, most customers tasted the sorbets before buying. Flavored in Chocolate Nutmeg, Lavender Peach and Lemon Lime Leaf, Ambrosia's new products were described by taste-testers as "exotic" and "unconventional."
Also present was the Elephant Walk restaurant, which has locations in Cambridge and Boston. The restaurant served a traditional plate of mussels and french fries, along with fresh fruit tarts.
Community Servings, which delivers meals to area AIDS patients, was also present at the festival.
Raising money to buy food for AIDS patients, the group sold $5 tickets to a raffle for free airfare to Paris.
Although the festival continued until 11:30 p.m.j5, many restaurants ran out of food early in the evening. The popular spring rolls and fruit tarts were quick to sell out.
The festival began at 5 p.m. with a "waiter's race," which involved several servers from Cambridge restaurants running through Holyoke Street with aprons and trays.
Racers balanced bottles of water and glasses of beer on their trays while rushing from table to table.
David Cahill, a server at Upstairs at the Pudding, was the clear winner of the race, finishing far ahead of all the other contestants as beer spilled along the street.