The St. Joan of Arc French Market is one of those events that seem to come to my attention every year… after it’s over. I’ll talk to a coworker who went or see a Facebook post of someone who attended and think, how did I forget about this again?!
Well, this year is finally the year that I made it! It turns out that the whole French theme is applied kind of loosely; it’s more of just a fundraiser festival that has some French elements and foods thrown in.
The event is held in the Meridian Kessler area and there was plenty of free street parking available when we arrived, though we did have about an 8-minute walk to get to the festival from where we had to park. Parking near 46th & Park Avenue gave us a straight walk from the car to the festival — a bonus in my book since I tend to be directionally-challenged when having to find my car after an event.
There were a lot of clothing, jewelry, and home decor vendors along the perimeter of the space and the food and entertainment areas were located closer to the center… so I went straight to the center.
Some of the food was very French! The first dish I noticed was Bœuf Bourguignon, which I loved having when I visited France, but, not being in the mood for beef at the time, I opted for roasted chicken instead, which was a little overcooked, but flavorful. They were also selling some delicious looking pommes frites and beignets.
Outside of the French-type things, they also had ribs, crab cakes, a variety of seafood dishes and some cakes. Most of the main dishes ran $7-$10, which was very reasonable, particularly since this event is a fundraiser. Soft drinks and water were $2. Desserts were around $5.
Payment was via the use of purchased tickets. It was slightly annoying to have to go around to the vendors to figure out what you wanted and then go to a ticket booth to get the right amount of tickets to pay for your food, but the cash-only lines for tickets were very short and I happened to have cash on hand, so the extra step didn’t take very long.
I stayed about half an hour while eating and listened to the band that was playing, then walked around to take a look at all of the vendors before leaving. Even though the French Market wasn’t as “French” as I had hoped, it was still a fun time and it’s an event that was well worth the couple hours spent on a beautiful Saturday afternoon.