MILWAUKEE — Schoolchildren singing the French national anthem, beignets and a replica Eiffel Tower in Cathedral Square Park can only mean one thing: Bastille Days is back.
The French flag will fly high for four days in Cathedral Square Park as about 250,000 people come to shop, eat and listen to music in honor of the French independence day.
About 100 artists will play on four different stages throughout the weekend. New this year is a French funk band that is coming all the way from Paris to perform Friday night.
While Milwaukee may be known for its brats, beignets steal the show this weekend. Long lines formed early in the afternoon for the doughy, delicious treats outside the Alliance Francaise de Milwaukee booth.
A new addition this year is a Lock Your Love interactive art display.
"Write a little note on the lock and lock your love right to these sculptures," said Emily McEwee, the executive director of the East Town Association.
You write the name of a loved one in permanent marker on a lock. Then you attach it to one of three large metal hearts. That way your love is always locked to your heart. You have to pay $5, but all that money gets donated to Habitat For Humanity.
A quarter of a million people coming downtown, where some might say there is already not enough parking, could pose a logistical issue. However, the East Town Association partnered with Lyft to account for just that.
"Anywhere you are on the grounds we have a designated pick-up and drop-off point right at the corner of Jackson and Wells.”
The Hop, which has been affectionately renamed Le Hop, also runs directly through the festival, and you may be lucky enough to catch quick concerts while riding there. The East Town Association has scheduled a few different performers throughout the weekend to ride from the Public Market to Cathedral Square Park.