Road Trip? Oui Oui! Bastille Days in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Whether you’re a fan of French food or have ever wanted to stand next to a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, Milwaukee Wisconsin’s Bastille Days is the Midwest road trip destination of the summer. Bastille Days is held every July and dates back to 1982. This year, in 2012, the 31st-anniversary celebration will showcase a Mardi Gras French Quarter flair, the first of it’s kind in the history of the event.
The 4-day-long Bastille Days celebration is one of the largest French-themed festivals in the country, and one of Milwaukee’s most attended events of the year. Held in downtown Milwaukee’s Cathedral Square Park, the celebration draws crowds of over 250,000 for the French and Cajun cuisine, live entertainment, street performers, Eiffel Tower replica (with hourly light shows) and, of course, the “Storm the Bastille,” a 5K run/walk with over 5,000 participants. The storming, which kicks off the celebration at around 9 p.m. at night, honors the 18th century attack on the Paris’ Bastille prison. Participation in the race will cost you $20, but each walker/runner receives a long-sleeved commemorative T-shirt, a race number and other goodies.
Bastille Days is a road trip destination that promises a college student attendance–and Milwaukee is a fun college town that is as memorable as it is trendy. Milwaukee is home to Marquette University, University of Wisconsin, Mount Mary College, Alverno College and Bryant & Stratton, among others. So get out there and storm the Bastille–college road trip style.
By Leah Waldron