This weekend, Times Square in Manhattan will be transformed into a huge French marketplace called Best of France.
The September 26 and 27 event is organized by the non-profit group of the same name, whose purpose is to promote the image of France and "French expertise and savoir-faire" abroad. The event is presented in conjunction with Atout France.
Entrance to Best of France is free, but tickets must be purchased for special events such as the VIP Opening Night Reception and the Grand Wine Tastings presented by top NYC sommeliers.
Event exhibitors and programs are organized by themes: Cuisine, Lifestyle, Travel, Fashion, Culture, Technology and Innovation.
The list of exhibitors and sponsors includes Air France, Back-Roads, Club Med, Clarins, Croisi Europe, Delta, Diptyque, Galeries Lafayette, Laguiole, Lancome, Le Boat, L'Oreal, Moulin Rouge, Parfums de France, RailEurope, Sofitel, Tartine et Chocolat, Valrhona, YSL and many more. The cities of Cannes, Lyon, Toulouse and Paris will be on hand, as will regional tourist offices (Bordeaux/Aquitaine, the Rhône Alpes the Midi-Pyrénées, Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, etc.) and the islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint Martin. The full exhibitor list is here.
At the Inauguration on Saturday at 11 am (Broadway between 46th and 47th Streets), 130 French and American kids will be unraveling huge US and French flags. Following the two national anthems, they'll also unravel the largest “marinière” (the iconic striped, knitted sweater) in the world. How large you ask? It's 22' long by 44' wide.
The show highlights are listed here. On the Culinary Stage all weekend, chefs--including Christian Tetedoie, Eric Kayser, Michel Bras and others--will be doing demos.
On the main stage (Times Square at 46th St.), Francophone singers and French artists (such as 16 Moulin Rouge dancers, a first in NYC) will perform. Other offerings include a, fashion shows on a 45-foot runway, a kids fashion show casting call, live demos by French craftsmen making artisanal products, a French market and "bistro areas."
Volunteers are still needed and can compete to win a trip to Paris; info on volunteering is here.
The public is invited to enter to win a week in luxury rental in Chamonix (with a six-day ski pass) and a week-long French river cruise. Anyone can enter...you don't have to attend the event to win...just fill out the form here.
For all the details, visit the Best of France website here...and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.