East Town Association
Press Release

Milwaukee marks 35th anniversary of city’s favorite French festival, Bastille Days

Among the annual highlights is the BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille Run/Walk.

By - Mar 8th, 2016 02:15 pm
Bastille Days

Bastille Days

MILWAUKEE, Wis. (March 8, 2016) – Milwaukee’s Bastille Days presented by Columbia St. Mary’s, one of the nation’s largest French-themed celebrations, returns to Cathedral Square Park, 520 E. Wells St., July 14 – 17. Attracting over 250,000 visitors annually, this free, four-day affair boasts live music, an international marketplace, chef and wine demos, epicurean delights from local restaurants, the BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille Run/Walk, Mardi Gras parades, roaming busker entertainment and a 43-ft. Eiffel Tower replica.

32nd Annual BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille Run/Walk

Among the annual highlights is the BMO Harris Bank Storm the Bastille Run/Walk – a reenactment of the revolutionary storming of the Bastille prison by Parisians in the 18th century. More than 5,000 runners and walkers will travel through the streets of downtown Milwaukee and the Historic Third Ward, beginning at 9 p.m. on Thursday, July 14. Registration is $20 in advance or $25 day of.

Exciting Entertainment All Weekend Long   

Throughout the celebration, fest-goers will find a mix of music across five stages, including French ballads, jazz, folk, world, Cajun, zydeco and rock. Notable acts for this year’s festival include Dwayne Dopsie and the Zydeco Hellraisers, Louisiana-based Sweet Crude and the traditional blues act Reverend Raven & The Chain Smokin’ Altar Boys. Madame Gigi’s Outrageous French Cancan Dancers and Edith Piaf classics from Robin Pluer are always crowd favorites as well as strolling musicians, fine artists and other street performers. Additional entertainment highlights include performances from Carnival of Curiosity and Chaos, Seth Sander’s intricate chalk art under the Eiffel Tower, Mardi Gras parades on Friday and the annual Waiter/Waitress Race on Sunday.

French Fare and Souvenirs

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 Francaise de Milwaukee, crêpes, wine, champagne, and gifts such as Provençal fabrics, soaps, cards and art. Daily chef, beer and wine demonstrations will also heat up the celebration as area chefs, brewers and sommeliers share French and Cajun themes. Ticketed wine tasting events take place on Saturday, July 16 as well.

8th Annual Kids Day

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, art activities and other hands-on games. The Milwaukee Flyers Tumbling Team and the West Bend Dance and Tumbling Team will perform throughout the day. Plus, a French-inspired breakfast will be available in the morning for just $5.

Bastille Days is sponsored by Columbia St. Mary’s, Bud Light, Madison Medical Affiliates, BMO Harris Bank, Pepsi, Gruber Law Offices – “One Call…That’s All”, International Autos Group, Saz’s Hospitality Group, 330 Kilbourn and Door Peninsula Winery.

Bastille Days Gallery


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.

Mentioned in This Press Release


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