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In Festival Guide

Join 200,000 of your closest friends at Bastille Days.

In Festival Guide

Storm the Bastille!

In Festival Guide

Buskers everywhere.

Bastille Days: July 14-17

Of Milwaukee's major ethnic festivals, it's easy to see why some lump them together as being a lot of the same. Obviously, each is unique and special and wonderful, but since most share the same location and general format, when one fest breaks the mold, it really stands out.
That festival is called Bastille Days.

Free and in the middle of Downtown, anchored with a 43-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, it's been one of the only festivals that sells a ton of champagne for 35 years now.

Ooh la la, indeed.

Bastille Days has a slightly more refined, upscale feel to it, but make no mistake, it's still Milwaukee – which means plenty let it all hang out (for better or for worse) at this annual July event.

But Bastille Days is so much more. Chef, wine and cheese demonstrations take the culinary side of the fest up a notch, while the Alliance Francaise de Milwaukee culture tent reminds us that Bastille Days is, indeed, a cultural event, too. Roaming minstrels, fire throwers, face painters and stilt walkers make the event very family-friendly – at least during the day.

Born in 1982, Bastille Days is free, and organizers estimate that more than 250,000 attend each year.

Where: Cathedral Square Park and the surrounding streets.

Hours: 11 a.m.-11:30 p.m. (Thursday-Friday), 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Saturday, and from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. on Sunday.

Admission: Free.

Highlights: The "Storm the Bastille" 5K run to open the festival on Thursday night is one of the most unique scenes you'll see in Milwaukee. Imagine thousands of runners taking to the streets of Downtown Milwaukee at 9 p.m., then celebrating their achievement with beers afterward. Friday is the Mardi Gras party, with a discounted happy hour and specialty themed drinks. Saturday is Kids Day. Sunday's waiter/waitress obstacle course race is another annual favorite.

For more information: easttown.com.

Full Schedule:

Thursday July 14

Cathedral Square Stage
11 a.m. – Festival Opens
11:45 a.m. - Extra Crispy Brass Band
5:30 p.m. – SWEET CRUDE
6:45 p.m. – Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos
7:15 p.m. – Extra Crispy Brass Band
8:45 p.m. – Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos
9 p.m. – Storm the Bastille 5K Run
9:15 p.m. – SWEET CRUDE

Beaux Arts Stage
Noon – Chef Demos
12:50 p.m. – Chef Demos
1:40 p.m. – Chef Demos
2:30 p.m. – WineMasters
3 p.m. – BeerMasters
3:40 p.m. – Door Peninsula Distillery
4:30 p.m. – Vivo
5:30 p.m. – Beer Tapping
7 p.m. – Cajun Strangers
9:45 p.m. – REVEREND RAVEN

Kilbourn West Stage
11:45 a.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
Noon – Old St. Mary's/ Mass
12:45 p.m. - Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
1:30 p.m. – Chanson du trio Twila Jean
4:30 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
5:15 p.m. – Joe 2.0
8:15 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
9 p.m. – THE TOYS

Kilbourn East Stage
11:30 a.m. – Claire Kelly
12:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
2:30 p.m. – John Stano
3:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:20 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:45 p.m. – Terra Guitarra
7 p.m. – Learn to speak French
8:45 p.m. – THIS BIG LIFE

Friday July 15

Cathedral Square Stage
11:45 a.m. – Copper Box
5:30 p.m. – DWAYNE DOPSIE & THE ZYDECO HELLRAISERS
6:45 p.m. – Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos
7:15 p.m. – Copper Box
8:45 p.m. – Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos
9:15 p.m. – DWAYNE DOPSIE & THE ZYDECO HELLRAISERS

Beaux Arts Stage
Noon – Chef Demos
12:50 p.m. – Chef Demos
1:40 p.m. – Chef Demos
2:30 p.m. – WineMasters
3 p.m. – BeerMasters
3:40 p.m. – Door Peninsula Distillery
4:30 p.m. – Thriftones
7 p.m. – Robin Pluer
9:45 p.m. – THE BEL AIRS

Kilbourn West Stage
11:45 a.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
Noon – Old St. Mary's/ Mass
12:45 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
1:30 p.m. – The Tritonics
3:30 p.m. – Parallel
5:15 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
6 p.m. – Doozey
9 p.m. – CONSULT THE BRIEFCASE

Kilbourn East Stage
11:30 a.m. – Terra Guitarra
12:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
2:30 p.m. – Yard Dog Charlie
3:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:20 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:45 p.m. – Nora Collins Trio
7 p.m. – Learn to speak French
8:45 p.m. – THE WHISKEYBELLES

Saturday July 16
Cathedral Square Stage
10:30 a.m. – Kids/Family Day Promotion
4 p.m. – ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD
5:15 p.m. - French Mass @ St. John Cathedral
6:45 p.m. – Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos
7:15 p.m. – David Hecht & Primitive Culture
8:45 p.m. – Carnival of Curiosity & Chaos
9:15 p.m. – ROYAL SOUTHERN BROTHERHOOD

Beaux Arts Stage
Noon – Chef Demos
12:50 p.m. – Chef Demos
1:40 p.m. – Chef Demos
2:30 p.m. – WineMasters
3 p.m. – BeerMasters
3:40 p.m. – Door Peninsula Distillery
4:30 p.m. – Rebecca & the Grey Notes
6:45 p.m. – Femme Feroce Dancers
7:30 p.m. – Zach Pietrini Band
9:15 p.m. – Femme Feroce Dancers
10 p.m. – FORT FRANCES

Kilbourn West Stage
11:30 a.m. – Life In A Tree
1:45 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
2:30 p.m. – Brett Newski
4:30 p.m. – Old St. Mary's/ Mass
5:45 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
6:30 p.m. – Rainy Day Crush
8:45 p.m. – Madame Gigi's Outrageous French CanCans
9:30 p.m. – 5 CARD STUDS

Kilbourn East Stage
11:30 a.m. – Beth Kille
12:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
2:30 p.m. – Yard Dog Charlie
3:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:20 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:45 p.m. – Breakout Trio
7 p.m. – Learn to speak French
8:45 p.m. – SQUEEZETTES

Sunday July 17th
Cathedral Square Stage
1:30 p.m. – SULTANS OF STRING
3 p.m. – Waiters-Waitresses Race
5 p.m. – Chicken Wire Empire
7 p.m. – DIRTY BOURBON RIVER SHOW

Beaux Arts Stage
Noon – Chef Demos
12:50 p.m. – Chef Demos
1:40 p.m. – Chef Demos
2:30 p.m. – WineMasters
3 p.m. – BeerMasters
3:40 p.m. – Door Peninsula Distillery
4:30 p.m. – Robin Pluer
7 p.m. – AHVANTSOUL

Kilbourn West Stage
11:30 a.m. – Old St. Mary's/ Mass
1 p.m. – Beaker
3 p.m. – Brewtown Beat
5:45 p.m. – LOVEMONKEYS

Kilbourn East Stage
11:30 a.m. – Dale
12:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
2:30 p.m. – Boo Bradley
3:45 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:20 p.m. – Learn to speak French
5:45 p.m. – LISTENING PARTY
7 p.m. – Learn to speak French


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