The Parker Palm Springs is celebrating Bastille Day — the French national holiday commemorating the French Revolution — with a soirée at the resort. Bastille Day, or ‘La Fête National’ as the French call it, falls on July 14 every year, but the Parker’s celebration is taking place a day earlier this year, on Sunday, July 13, with pétanque (the French version of bocce – see below for more info), cocktails and a three-course dinner at Mister Parker’s. We attended last year’s Bastille Day festivities at the Parker, and it was a lot of fun (even though our pétanque skills could use some work!).
The event is $49 per person, with cocktails and pétanque starting at 6 p.m. and dinner seatings starting at 7:30 p.m. You can make your reservations now by calling 760.321.4629, and read on below to learn the basics of pétanque so you can be ready to dominate on the court!
How to play Pétanque like a Frenchman:
1. Order a Pastis.
2. Select three balls, give your opponent the other three.
3. Throw the little ball (the ‘Cochonnet’ or ‘little pig’).
4. Each player throws a ball (feet together) attempting to get as close as possible to the Cochonnet.
5. Player whose ball is NOT closest continues to throw.
6. After all six balls are thrown, a round is complete. The player with the ball closest to the Cochonnet is declared the winner of the round. He receives one point for each ball closer than the opponent’s. (e.g. if each ball is closer than each of his opponent’s he would receive 3 total points — one for each ball. Or, if he has the closest ball and then his opponent’s three are next, he would receive only one point.) No points are awarded to the round’s loser.
7. Play continues with winning player throwing ‘the pig’ for each subsequent round until the first player (a) reaches 13 points (b) falls down drunk, or (c) complains about American unilateralism.
(Pétanque rules from the Parker website)