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Bastille Day isn’t simply a celebration of the birth of the French Republic and Liberté, Egalité, and Fraternité; it is, according to historian Eugen Weber, the moment when an undeveloped and largely peasant nation joined a modern world and the official culture of Paris. L’Academie de Cuisine’s belated Bastille Day Bash should be a particulary lively celebration of the birth of the République, last week’s World Cup victory having stoked French national pride. For those with a natural aversion to Pierrot, there will be a celebrity chef pétanque competition (lawn bowling), cooking demonstrations, games and classes for the kids, French music and food, and a champagne toast to commemorate the day. Sample merquez (a spicy lamb sausage), coq au vin, chocolate mousse, and crepes, and try to resist harassing the mime. From 4-8 p.m. at L’Academie de Cuisine, 5021 Wilson Lane, Bethesda. Free. (301) 986-9490. (John Dugan)