What was once a little event to celebrate Bastille Day is now a major five-day festival in Eureka Springs called Fleur Delicious Weekend. The French-themed event is billed as one to delight all the senses.
The City of Eureka Springs will have a street fair atmosphere with restaurants, bars, shops, lodging establishments, spas, galleries, and entertainment venues participating.
Promoter Ilene Powell approached Teresa DeVito in March 2011 about organizing a Waiters' Race, which blossomed into the Fleur Delicious Weekend. The Waiters' Race will be run on Bastille Day and is one of many celebrated in more than 50 countries over the world.
The event kicks off on Thursday, July 5, with a Ciroc Vodka Bartender Competition at Voulez-Vous Lounge at 63A Spring Street. Contestants may enter one drink made with any Ciroc Vodka and a $5 cover allows guests to taste the cocktails and vote for the People's Choice.
Festivities continue on Wednesday, July 11, with a Drink & Draw at Chelsea's Café at 10 Mountain St. hosted by painter Bob Norman. Those participating will paint their interpretation of the Fleur de Lis, and the paintings will then be put into an exhibition.
Thursday, July 12 at the Eureka Springs Farmers' Market in Pine Mountain Village special events will include a cooking demo, wine tastings, and French music. The market is from 7 a.m. -- noon.
From 6 -- 8 p.m. that evening, the Drink & Draw art exhibition will be at Caribe Restaurante y Cantina at 309 W. Van Buren, along with a jewelry show by Victoria Marshall of ReVamp Designs.
Thursday through Sunday at Basin Park, entertainment throughout the day will feature light jazz music and a string quartet.
Voulez-Vous Lounge at 63A Spring Street will host a champagne tasting on Friday night at 5 -- 7 p.m.
Saturday's events include the Spring Street Waiters' Race, where area restaurant waitstaff will compete against each other, and The Krewe of Kork FDW Wine & Spirit's Stroll.
At 6 p.m. is the Eureka Springs Gallery Association's Gallery Stroll around town celebrating the Freedom to Create. Participating galleries will serve French-inspired refreshments from 6 -- 9 p.m.
The Crystal Dining Room at The Crescent Hotel will serve Sunday brunch with French champagne and a French Food Station from 9:30 a.m. -- 2 p.m.
Sunday evening The Cottage Inn Restaurant will celebrate Fleur Delicious Weekend with a French wine dinner at 7 p.m.
Many restaurants around Eureka Springs will offer French specials and spirits. The Bed and Breakfast Inns of Eureka Springs will also participate by serving French themed breakfast, afternoon refreshments, and/or desserts.
The weekend ends with an evening in Basin Park featuring live music and treats from Peace, Love & Cheesecake, art by Larry Mansker and the Sunday Night Movie in the Park, An American in Paris.
For more information, phone Teresa DeVito (479) 253-6807 or Ilene Powell (504) 421-2461; e-mail Fleurdeliciousweekend@yahoo.com; or visit www.fleurdeliciousweekend.com or the Fleur Delicious Facebook page.