Bastille Days announces beaucoup de entertainment to downtown Milwaukee
The 35th annual Bastille Days presented by Columbia St. Mary’s returns to Cathedral Square Park July 14-17 with free entertainment all weekend long.
MILWAUKEE, Wis. (April 28, 2016) – The 35th annual Bastille Days presented by Columbia St. Mary’s returns to Cathedral Square Park July 14-17 with free entertainment all weekend long. The French festival boasts an international marketplace, chef and wine demos, epicurean delights from local restaurants and roaming busker entertainment, along with nonstop live music on all four festival stages, including French ballads, jazz, folk, world, Cajun, zydeco and rock. With a diverse lineup of attractions and musical acts, fest-goers will delight in all the Parisian fun.
32nd Annual BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille on Thursday
The first 1,000 guests that march into Bastille Days at noon on Thursday, July 14, can satisfy their sweet tooth with a free slice of French-themed cake, courtesy of Metro Market. Thursday’s musical menagerie includes Sweet Crude and the Extra Crispy Brass Band on the Cathedral Square Stage, and The Toys on the Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All” Stage. Performances by This Big Life and Terra Guitarra will take place on the Door Peninsula Winery Stage, and Reverend Raven and Cajun Strangers will headline the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage.
At 5:30 p.m., beer enthusiasts are invited to enjoy an exclusive keg-tapping event with Milwaukee Brewing Co. at the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage. Round out Thursday by joining more than 5,000 runners and walkers in the BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille Run/Walk. Kicking off at 9 p.m. at the corner of Jefferson and Wells streets, this reenactment of the revolutionary storming of the Bastille prison by Parisians in the 18th century will take participants through the streets of downtown Milwaukee and the Historic Third Ward. Registration is $20 in advance at www.bastilledaysfestival.com or $25 day of.
Mardi Gras Fun on Friday
Kilbourn Avenue will transform into Bourbon Street on Friday, July 15 with three Mardi Gras-themed parades led by the Extra Crispy Brass Band at 8:30, 9:30 and 10:30 p.m. The Cajun-creole vibe will continue with live performances by Dwayne Dopsie & The Zydeco Hellraisers and Copper Box on the Cathedral Square Stage. Consult The Briefcase will bring crowds onto their feet with performances on the Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All” Stage. Check out Yard Dog Charlie and The WhiskeyBelles on the Door Peninsula Winery Stage as well as The Bel Airs and Robin Pluer on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage.
8th Annual Kids Day on Saturday
On Saturday, July 16, families are invited to Bastille Days’ 8th Annual Kids Day. Enjoy free family fun all day long, including ballet stretching and posing, mini French lessons courtesy of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee, magic tricks, a caricature artist, extreme juggling and balancing acts, art activities and other hands-on games. The Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team, West Bend Dance and Tumbling Troupe and Shorewood’s acoustic music group School of Rock will perform throughout the day. Plus, a French-inspired breakfast will be available in the morning for just $5.
The fun will continue into the evening with a mix of musical performances, including Royal Southern Brotherhood on the Cathedral Square Stage and 5 Card Studs and Brett Newski on the Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All” Stage. The Squeezettes will perform on the Door Peninsula Winery Stage, and Fort Frances and the Zach Pietrini Band will round out the Parisian fun on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage. Plus, don’t miss Milwaukee’s burlesque dance group, Femme Feroce, as they perform a risqué act on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage.
Waiter/Waitress Race on Sunday
Tackling an intricate obstacle course while balancing full wine glasses is no easy feat. Cheer for local bars and restaurants as they compete for bragging rights during the annual Waiter/Waitress Race beginning at 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 17. In addition, this year marks the first time national acts will perform on Sunday, so be sure to catch Louisiana-based Dirty Bourbon River Show and Canada-based Sultans of String on the Cathedral Square Stage, along with the LoveMonkeys on the Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All” Stage. Listening Party and Boo Bradley headline the Door Peninsula Winery Stage, and AhVantSoul will perform on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage.
Daily chef, beer and wine demonstrations will also heat up the celebration as area chefs, brewers and sommeliers share French and Cajun themes on the Madison Medical Affiliates Beaux Arts Stage. In addition, ticketed wine tastings will take place on Saturday, July 16 at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
French Fare and Other Activités
With over 90 merchant booths and nearly 30 restaurants, Bastille Days offers an international marché that is sure to please any palate. French favorites include beignets handcrafted by members of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee, crêpes, wine, champagne, and gifts such as Provençal fabrics, soaps, cards and art. Visit the Alliance Française de Milwaukee’s cultural tent to play the French ball game, pétanque, and catch not-to-miss sights like Madame Gigi’s Outrageous French CanCan dancers on the Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All” Stage and throughout festival grounds as well as jaw-dropping stunts by Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos in Cathedral Square Park. Professional chalk artist, Seth Sanders, will create a French-inspired work of art underneath the 43 ft. Eiffel Tower replica, and be on the lookout for other roaming busker entertainment.
Bastille Days is presented by Columbia St. Mary’s and sponsored by Madison Medical Affiliates, Bud Light, BMO Harris Bank, EDI, Door Peninsula Winery, Saz’s Hospitality Group, International Autos Group, 330 Kilbourn, Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All”, and Pepsi.
Bastille Days Gallery
ABOUT BASTILLE DAYS
Bastille Days is presented by the East Town Association, Inc., a nonprofit 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 Cathedral Square Market. Bastille Days is free and open to the public. Visit www.bastilledaysfestival.com for more information.