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French Festival

Indulge your inner Francophile with eighteenth-century French amusements in celebration of Bastille Day and Hillwood's French decorative arts collection.

A day of fun for the whole family includes:

  • Add to the festive atmosphere by making and wearing a French bergère or Napoleon hat.
  • The festivities of French court come to life in a short play, performed by Happenstance Theater at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m. 2:15 p.m., and 4:15 p.m.
  • Meet strolling fanciful French nobles, also performed by Happenstance Theater, 11:15 a.m.-noon, 3-4 p.m., and 5-6p.m.
  • Experience the best of baroque dance with New York Baroque Dance Company at 11 a.m., 1:45 p.m., and 4:35 p.m.
  • Learn courtly manners from New York Baroque Dance Company at 12 noon, and 2:45 p.m.
  • Immerse yourself in music of the 1700s with Kevin Shannon’s baroque guitar at 10 a.m., 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
  • Explore Hillwood’s luscious gardens, during garden talks at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m.
  • And of course, admire the exquisite collection of eighteenth-century French decorative arts collected by Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Come rain or shine, performances take place in the airy and open shelter of the C. W. Post Courtyard Tent, and the visitor center theater. Schedule subject to change. Outdoor activities are weather dependent.

All of Hillwood’s 2017 festivals are supported by a grant from the Sally Foss and James Scott Hill Foundation.  All exhibitions and programs are funded in part by the U.S. Commission on the Fine Arts through the National Capital Arts and Cultural Affairs program.

  • Visitors wearing French bergère and Napoleon hats at French Festival

    Visitors wearing French bergère and Napoleon hats at French Festival

  • Fanciful French nobles at French Festival

    The French Parterre

  • Garden talk at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Garden talk at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

  • Citroen car display at French Festival

    Citroen car display at French Festival

  • Picnic at Hillwood's French Festival

    Picnic at Hillwood's French Festival

  • Visitors wearing French bergère hats at French Festival

    Visitors wearing French bergère hats at French Festival

  • Learn baroque dance steps at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Learn baroque dance steps at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

  • Baroque guitar at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Baroque guitar at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

  • Learn baroque dance steps at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens

    Learn baroque dance steps at Hillwood Estate, Museum & Gardens