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Boerum Hill basks in Bastille Day

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Photo gallery

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PETANQUE YOU VERY MUCH!: Olivia O’Hearen, 9, of Boerum Hill, shows off her petanque ball on Smith Street. Petanque is a game similar to bocce that originated in the south of France.
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FRANCOPHILES: Frenchmen Damian Aries, Fabien Suquet and Julian Firminhac teamed up to show Smith Street how petanque is played.
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ANOTHER BALLGAME: For many, the Bastille Day festivities took a temporary back seat to the World Cup final.
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REACTION TO SHOT: Soccer fans reel from one of the decisive moments in the nail-biter between Argentina and Germany.
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MADE IN THE SHADE: Maggie Dunning, left, of Manhattan, and Donna Mastey of Prospect Heights watch the World Cup in style.
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COOLING OFF: Nellie Featherstone, left, of the Bronx, and Theresa Palacios of Queens toast to Bastille Day.
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SIP’S UP: Alex Barber, of Williamsburg, draws on a refreshing beverage in the comfort of her large hat.
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HAVING A BALL: A game of foosball gets heated.
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‘BONE TO RUN: Singer-songwriter Lipbone Redding strums for the crowd.
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HOLY CREPE: Chef Jean Christophe shapes a crepe — and really, what is more French than that?
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HOME AWAY FROM HOME: The Bastile Day bash drew French expats Olivier Lardat, Max Rousselot, and Lila.
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OUI ONES: From left, Katie McPartland, 8, Vito, 7, and Zosia LaVilla, 5, Zosia McPartland, 6, Aoife Petitgand, 3, and Orlagh Lavery, 1, take a breather on the curb.

To the barricades! To eat, drink, and have a good time!

Crowds flocked to Smith Street in Boerum Hill on Sunday to celebrate Bastille Day a day early. The French holiday celebrates the storming of a medieval Parisian fortress in 1789, but you wouldn’t know it from the happy crowds sipping drinks, cheering and jeering the World Cup final on the big screen, and playing petanque, a bocce-like French game, on a temporary court.

“Petanque a classic pastime,” said Apoftolos Valleras, general manager of Bar Tabac, the French bar that hosted live music, grilled fresh French eats, installed the petanque court, and projected the big soccer game for the throngs on the blocked-off section of Smith Street. “People play it at parks, anywhere they want. It’s a fun, competitive sport.”

The bar carted in more than 100 50-pound bags of sand to build the court for the occasion.

The street fair was a draw for French expatriates and Francophiles hungry for a taste of that je ne sais quoi they last experienced on vacation.

“I went to France in April and I loved the food and wine,” said Alex Barber, who came to the fair from Williamsburg. “It was nice to go spend the day outside.”

Barber, who is originally from Australia, said this was her second time coming to Smith Street for the celebration of all things Francais.

The World Cup game, in which Germany shut out Argentina for global domination, was a big draw this year, Valleras said. France, of course, was knocked out by Germany in the quarter-finals.

Reach reporter Noah Hurowitz at nhurowitz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow him on Twitter @noahhurowitz
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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