War and profiteroles: La Fête de Français 2023

By Megha Khemka

It’s the end of a long school day, and as you fight your way through the masses to get to the door, you hear a thumping bass line emanating from the World Language hallway. Further investigation reveals a table decked out in red, white, and blue garlands selling tickets, while from further down the hallway comes faint Kahoot music and the smell of Nutella. The bass line belongs to the iconic “Papaoutai” from Belgian pop star Stromae, the Kahoot music is preparing participants for a 40-question quiz on French history and culture, and the jars of Nutella are being opened next to plates of crepes. It’s 3:30, and Payton’s annual Fête de Français has begun.

Stromae was one of the artists featured at French Fest, as his songs are well known not only in French-speaking countries but around the world.

Members of Payton’s Société Honoraire de Français, which organizes French Fest every year, chipped in to provide a host of French foods for the event. Madame Lewis, the club’s sponsor, contributed a wide variety of offerings, including crepes, madeleines, profiteroles, eclairs, croissants, chocolate, and cheeses.

The culminating event of French Fest was a baguette fencing tournament. Variations in the age and density of the baguettes made for some very quick, and some much more involved, rounds.

Individuals who had completed at least one activity at French Fest could sign up to participate in “la guerre des baguettes” (the baguette war). After seven rounds, many broken baguettes, and even a bit of blood, a victor emerged (and received their unbroken baguette épée as a prize).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s