Angela Morgan

Bastille Days storms Milwaukee

Thousands of Milwaukeeans stormed the Bastille on Thursday night to kick off a weekend of French fun at Cathedral Square Park. Photo Gallery by Angela Morgan.

By - Jul 13th, 2012 10:00 am
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Photos: Angela Morgan

Thousands of Milwaukeeans stormed the Bastille downtown Thursday night kicking off the weekend festival of all things French. Bastille Days celebrates its 31st anniversary this year with its largest event to date. The free festival, produced by East Town Association, occupies eight city blocks surrounding Cathedral Square Park and runs Thursday, July 12 to Sunday, July 15.

New this year is Mardi Gras Friday with four Mardi Gras style parades complete with costumes and beads. In celebration of the French festival, Milwaukee Brewing Company crafted a special “Bastille Brew” called La Fête Saison that will be unveiled on Saturday.

This is the time to get your crepes and beignets! Opening day festivities included the procession of the official Bastille Days cake made by Metro Market. As Marie Antoinette said, “let them eat cake!” and all in attendance were treated to a free slice.

Beyond all the great French food and 25 area restaurants to choose from on, there are numerous activities on the grounds including French mini-lessons, chef demonstrations, street performers, buskers, artists, tarot card readings, Can-Can and belly-dancers, more than 90 merchant booths and of course, no festival would be complete without music.

More than 30 area bands and musicians perform during the four day festival including the festival mainstay French chanteuse Robin Pluer, Mama Digdown’s Brass Band, Davina and the Vagabonds, Paul Cebar Tomorrow Sound, R.A.S. Movement, Joe 2.0, Herman Astro, I’m Not A Pilot, and many more.

A French themed breakfast will be held Saturday morning, which is also Kids Day. A costumed Pooch Parade will follow at Cathedral Square. The famous Waiter/Waitress race will round out the activities on Sunday.

To get more France in your life when the festival closes, don’t forget about “Posters of Paris” at Milwaukee Art Museum running now through September 9.










ThirdCoast Digest has a several photos of Bastille Days 2012 from Angela, and you can browse them in our slideshow below or view the full set at TCD’s flickr. Follow Angela Morgan on Twitter at @AngelinePhotog.

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