Local Bartenders, Waiters To Race Sunday For Fast, Furious Francophile Fun In The French Market In Honor Of Bastille Day
NEW ORLEANS—Since 2010, The French Market has hosted the Bartender and Waiters Race as a celebration of the local hospitality industry and Bastille Day. This unique French tradition is held around the world annually in honor of Bastille Day, and is one of the culminating events of the citywide Bastille Day NOLA festivities this year. This “localized” version, which takes place on Sunday, July 16, at 4:00 p.m., includes the participation of bartenders (rather than just waiters), as they are equally valued by the local and tourism industry, organizers said.
The race is open to all New Orleans area working bartenders and waiters, who can win cash and gift prizes for participating in this short but intense balance and speed “skill test” under the watchful eyes of volunteers, with French costumed characters and the general public cheering them on. Participants must speed walk (no running is allowed) for approximately 2 blocks without spilling any food or drink from their carefully configured race trays. Registration is free.
This year the race returns to the French Market open air market, for a shorter, faster race alongside the Flea and Farmers Market, on French Market Place. The race begins at 4:00 p.m. sharp at the corner of Barracks and French Market Place, across from the Old U.S. Mint and alongside the Flea Market, to end near the middle of the Farmers Market.
The awards are presented at 4:45 p.m. at the Farmers Market stage. Depending on the number of participants, there will be several “heats” to determine the final winners.
Entertainment begins on the Farmers Market stage at 2:45 p.m. with Harmonouche.
Audience members should arrive early to enjoy music and food at the Farmers Market, rediscover the many local arts and crafts for sale at the Flea Market, and get a good spot along the route, organizers said.
The French Market’s Bartender and Waiters Race rules include:
1. Absolutely no running. This is strictly a speed walking race. Runners will be immediately disqualified.
2. No spilling of items.
3. Once the race begins, no touching of items on the tray is permitted.
4. Only one hand may be used to support the tray; no switching of hands during race. Tray must be balanced from underneath.
5. No bodily contact with other racers once the race has begun.
6. No unsportsmanlike conduct of any kind will be permitted.
7. The first person to cross the finish line who has not spilled any items is the winner.
8. In addition to on-site volunteers and race captains walking along the race to ensure all rules are followed, the judges will review videotape of the race captured by iPhones to determine if there were any rules broken. If any rules were broken, there will be immediate disqualification.
9. If no one crossing the finish line has spilled any liquid, the winners will be determined by measuring the liquid per glass and the one with the most liquid still in the cup wins.