France celebrates EU Open House at the Embassy of Germany on May 9
On May 9, Washingtonians and visitors turned out in droves for the ninth annual European Union Open House in Washington, D.C. On an unseasonably sunny Saturday, event-goers warmly embraced the languages, food and culture of 28 different European countries without stepping foot outside of the U.S. capital.
As in years past, France and German co-hosted EU Open House together—this year at the newly-renovated German Embassy. At 9:30 am, visitors were already lined up to get a taste of these two major European countries, who share not only borders, but also cooperative efforts in sectors such as economy, education and travel.
There was, of course, food for everyone, with stands featuring classic French cheeses and tarts, German brats and sauerkraut, and Haribo gummy bears, another well-known German favorite. The "selfie station" drew a steady crowd of attendees throughout the afternoon, as people of all ages put their best faces in front of backdrops including German castles, the Eiffel Tower and the Hermione ship, featuring a very lively Marquis de Lafayette in costume for the occasion. Ambassador of Germany Peter Wittig and Deputy Chief of the French Mission Frédéric Doré paid a visit to the selfie station when touring the open house, where visitors could take photos touting signs proclaiming "I’m with the Ambassador."
The France-Germany Open House was not without its fair share of gift, rewarding attendees who tested their knowledge of language, culture, gastronomy and geography in exchange for prizes such as tote bags, mugs, pens and hats. Music rang throughout the embassy until sunset, while groups of a variety of genres—choral, rock, pop, traditional—performed in front of the German ambassador’s residence.
Overall, the event was an incredible success, drawing over 9,500 guests throughout the day. After months of hard work, France and Germany were thrilled with the turnout, and happy to celebrate Franco-American friendship, and the European Union, for yet another year.