Editors' pick

Bastille Day at L'Enfant

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Editorial Review

For those missing the traditional Bastille Day waiters race at the shuttered Les Halles, the next best thing is L'Enfant's hilarious French Maid Relay Race. Every July 14, Vernon Street is closed outside the restaurant (between 18th and 19th streets) and neighbors and customers crowd onto the sidewalk patio to watch dozens of women and men in black-and-white costumes run up and down the street, frilly aprons blowing in the wind.

Up to 40 people can participate by signing up at the restaurant after 4 p.m. The lavishly dressed "King Louis XVI" and "Marie Antoinette" will award prizes for the fastest racer and the one wearing the shortest skirt, among other categories.

The race begins at 8, and once it has finished, there's a masquerade ball and dancing in the street until 11, thanks to outdoor DJs. Arrive by 7 p.m. for a can-can performance; Food trucks and outdoor bars and beer trucks will help fill time until the race begins.

-- Fritz Hahn (Updated July 2011)