Press Release
Press Release

Bastille Days brings l’entertainment du jour to downtown Milwaukee

The 33rd Annual Bastille Days presented by Columbia St. Mary’s returns July 10 – 13

By - Apr 9th, 2014 11:58 am

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (April 9, 2014) – The 33rd Annual Bastille Days presented by Columbia St. Mary’s returns July 10 – 13 with a robust lineup of live music, epicurean delights and unique entertainment. The free four-day festival will feature live art, an international marketplace, wine and beer tastings, chef demonstrations and street performers, plus nonstop entertainment across four festival stages. With music covering everything from classic French ballads and country blues to Cajun-creole and folk-rock, guests are sure to find their rhythm. Each day offers a fresh lineup of attractions, including the BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille run/walk, Mardi Gras parades, Kids Day and the Waiter/Waitress Race.

BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille on Thursday

From eye-high kicks by Madame Gigi’s Outrageous French CanCan Dancers to mini French lessons, fest-goers will have plenty to check out on opening day, Thurs., July 10. Musical entertainment includes returning favorites Extra Crispy Brass Band and Robin Pluer on the Cathedral Square Stage, as well as The 5 Card Studs on the Kilbourn West Stage, I’m Not A Pilot on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage and The Squeezettes on the Kilbourn East Stage. At 5:30 p.m., Milwaukee Brewing Company will tap a new French-themed brew at the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage for all to sample. The annual BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille 5K run/walk will kick off at 9 p.m. at Jefferson and Wells streets, leading over 5,000 runners through the streets of downtown Milwaukee and the Third Ward as they re-enact the revolutionary storming of the Bastille prison by Parisians in the 18th century. Run registration is $20 in advance at or $25 day of.

The Big Easy Comes to Milwaukee on Friday

The glitz of Mardi Gras will hit the streets of Milwaukee on Friday evening with krewes of characters leading three lively parades at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. The New Orleans vibe will be carried throughout with performances by The Soul Rebels at 5 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on the Cathedral Square Stage, along with guitar-driven rock by The Delta Routine on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage at 9:45 p.m. Country sounds will also be infused with performances by The WhiskeyBelles on the Kilbourn East Stage at 8:45 p.m. and Rebel Grace on the Kilbourn West Stage at 9 p.m. For a sophisticated sit-down, a collection of French and California wines will be showcased during ticketed tastings from 6 – 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 – 10 p.m. on both Fri., July 11 and Sat., July 12. Wine tasting tickets are $25 in advance or $35 day of.

Family Fun for Kids Day Saturday

Dedicated to the youngest Francophiles, Kids Day is set to include a mix of fun-filled activities with everything from tutus and pirouettes with the Milwaukee Ballet, to challenge games with the Milwaukee Bucks and Milwaukee Admirals. A French-themed breakfast will kick-start the day at the Beignets Français tent from 10 a.m. – noon. Kids Day entertainment highlights will follow with music, mini French lessons, a caricature artist and sleight of hand magic.

Evening musical entertainment is set to include cultural fusions by Funkadesi at 4 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. on the Cathedral Square Stage. The Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage will come alive with edgy dance moves by Milwaukee’s own Femme Féroce dance company at 9:30 p.m., followed by Vic and Gab at 10 p.m. R.A.S. Movement will also move audiences with their high-energy reggae tunes on the Kilbourn West Stage at 9:45 p.m., while Mardi Gras parades return at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m.

Local Servers Compete For Bragging Rights on Sunday

Starting at 3:30 p.m. on Sun., July 13, local bars and restaurants will square off for the annual Waiter/Waitress Race as their top servers take on a challenging obstacle course while balancing full wine glasses. Prior to the race, Wisconsin-native Willy Porter will perform a selection of his original singer-songwriter hits from 1:30 – 3:15 p.m. on the Cathedral Square Stage. Afterwards, local favorite The LoveMonkeys will take the Kilbourn West Stage from 5:45 – 8:30 p.m., Milwaukee country group Chasin’ Mason will perform on the Cathedral Square Stage at 7 p.m., and Ivy spokes, cutting edge alt-rocker, will close out the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage with a 7 p.m. performance.

Milwaukee Chefs Say Bon Appétit

Beginning Thurs., July 10, Milwaukee’s top chefs will present signature dishes, sharing tips and techniques to bring out spectators’ inner Julia Child at noon, 12:50 p.m. and 1:40 p.m. on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage each day. Thursday’s lineup includes Amanda Dixon from Lazy Susan, Robert Klemm from Industri Café and Michael Long from Envoy at The Ambassador Hotel. Jacob Shick from Maxie’s, Jacob Wisniewski from MSOE Food Service and Yollande Deacon from Afro Fusion Cuisine round out Friday’s schedule. On Saturday, Yollande Deacon from Afro Fusion Cuisine, Patrick Murphy from Le Reve Patisserie & Café, and Michael Feker from Il Mito and Il Mito East heat up the stage, followed by Sunday’s chefs Van Luu from Prodigal Gastro Pub, Todd Moore from Lake Park Bistro and Cole Ersel from Wolf Peach. WineMasters, BeerMasters and whisky experts will also be on-site Thursday through Sunday with informative presentations on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage at 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 3:40 p.m. respectively.

Bastille Days is presented by Columbia St. Mary’s and sponsored by Bud Light, Madison Medical Affiliates, BMO Harris Bank, Pepsi, Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All”, International Autos Group, Door Peninsula Winery, Bastille Whisky, The Adecco Group and Saz’s Hospitality Group.


Bastille Days is coordinated by the East Town Association, Inc., a non-profit downtown Milwaukee business organization that has celebrated Bastille Days in Milwaukee since 1981. Proceeds from the festival are returned to the community through neighborhood improvement programs and civic events such as the popular Jazz in the Park and East Town Market. Bastille Days is free and open to the public. Visit

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