Bastille Days

Alesandra Tejeda

Cities all over the United States will be celebrating Bastille Day, the national French holiday, this weekend. Milwaukee, the city of festivals, is having its own celebration.

Commemorated every year on July 14, Bastille Day is akin to our July 4 because it celebrates the beginning of a journey to independence. On July 14, 1789, peasants stormed the Bastille prison and ignited the revolution against the existing monarchical rule in France. Though originally a bloody and violent affair, Bastille Day is now celebrated with pageantry.

Edyn Herbert

The growing shortness of attention spans affects more areas of society than you might think. The food industry has seemed to play into this as well, but there are some chefs that still take the time and care in their cooking. Milwaukee chef Gene Webb of North Shore Boulangerie explains the changes he’s noticed in the food industry and what he’s doing to preserve what he learned while studying in France.

Alliance Francaise

From Solomon Juneau to Jean Nicolet, there are many French names we recognize in Milwaukee.

Anne Leplae and Mary Emory of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee want Wisconsinites to understand the French history and culture that permeates in Wisconsin beyond July's Bastille Days celebration.

Photo courtesy of the East Town Association

More than five thousand participants stormed the Bastille last Thursday in the 35th annual 5K run and walk. The ever-popular race closes Milwaukee’s downtown streets and gives participants the unique experience of not only taking over the city, but racing at night.

Photo courtesy of the East Town Association

Thursday night’s attack in Nice, France stunned people here in Milwaukee – attending the city’s annual French festival – Bastille Days. Baron Carl de la Chapelle, Kara Clavis and Sarah Gauthier heard the news, just after they had gathered to celebrate.

At a beachside restaurant in Nice, France, Eric Drattell and his wife were relaxing after a fireworks show when a white truck began speeding down the seaside promenade, mowing people down.

"You go from having an absolutely marvelous time to sheer terror in a blink of an eye, literally," he says. "It was a spectacular fireworks show. And then all of a sudden this happens and people are screaming."

Updated 4 a.m. ET Friday:

The French interior minister says 84 people have been killed. The four new reported deaths are thought to have come from the list of critically injured.

Updated 11 p.m. ET Thursday:

A truck drove into a crowd celebrating Bastille Day in Nice, France, killing dozens of people on Thursday evening. The French interior minister says 80 people have been killed and 18 are in critical condition.

East Town Association

While there are no guillotines on Milwaukee’s Cathedral Square, many people are having their cake (or beignets) and eating it too this weekend.

The annual Bastille Days celebration features French food and culture, along with a traditional evening run to storm the Bastille in honor of the French Revolution.