Shorewest Weekend Preview: Celebrate All Things French at Bastille Days

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Bienvenue à Bastille Days, the largest outdoor French festival in North America. Hosted in Downtown Milwaukee July 11-14, this celebration honors France’s Independence Day. Bastille Days, brought to us by the East Town Association and located in Cathedral Square Park celebrates 32 years of Francophile fun in 2013. It offers four stages, and is renowned for impromptu street performers, roaming minstrels, a variety of interactive and musical entertainment. Over 200,000 visitors will occupy the eight city blocks throughout the four-day festival.

Opening night features the annual BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille 5k run and walk, where over 5,000 people flood the streets after dark to re-enact the storming of the Bastille, the infamous Parisian prison.  After its popularity in the 2012 festival, Bastille Days is bringing back Mardi Gras Friday from 5-7pm on July 12. Expect a discounted happy hour with specially-themed drinks and entertainment, as well as parades on the hour starting at 8pm and thousands of Mardi Gras beads.

Other weekend activities include the Pooch Parade on Saturday, July 13 at 11:30am and the famous Waiter/Waitress Races on Sunday, July 14 at 3:30.  Returning for its third year in 2013 is the popular ticketed wine tastings on Friday and Saturday at 6 and 8:30pm. Don’t wait — buy your tickets now and learn more details about the event.

If you didn’t get enough of celebrating Independence Day last week, consider joining in the French celebration of Independence this week at Bastille Days. Enjoy merchant booths, food from over 25 merchants, and chef demonstrations throughout the weekend, as well as four stages of musical entertainment, all free and open to the public! For more information, visit the Bastille Days website.

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