Paris on Bastille Day

Old Apr 20th, 1999, 12:26 PM
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Paris on Bastille Day

I remember seeing a big parade from Paris on TV a few years ago. Does it happen every year? What is the route?

What about Versailles that day - open or closed? Would the fountains in the garden be running?

Thanks for your information ; - )
Old Apr 20th, 1999, 12:40 PM
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Karen, on Bastille Day the french go bonkers and an incredible amount of people from the suburbs converge on Paris. It's wall-to-wall with people and the celebration goes late into the night. Lot of drinking and fireworks. There are also massive traffic jams in and around the city. I don't think I would take public transportation to Versailles that day even if it is open.
Old Apr 20th, 1999, 01:28 PM
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hum... I would take public transportation, I mean train, and nothing else -at least no car. It does work well -not like in november. And, on that day, Les champs Elysee is better than anything else, except that if they say it'll start at 3 pm, get there at 4pm, you'll wait only an other hour before it starts.
Old Apr 20th, 1999, 01:41 PM
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About three years ago I took my 70 year old mom to Paris (first airplane ride, first overseas trip, first trip with me as an adult...lots of firsts for mom) over Bastille Day. It was crowded, but not overly so (in other words, I didn't worry about her in the crowd). We had no trouble finding a spot for dinner (nice restaurant in the 7th), and stood on the bridge near Les Invalides and watched the fireworks over the Seine (you French guys do nice work). Afterwards, everyone sort of meandered around and we got back to our hotel with no problems. The parade is very...French. Lots of tanks and snappy-dressed military. Horse guard all duded up. We saw just a bit of it near Place de la Concorde. Saw most of it on TV. We were in a quiet neighborhood on the backside of the Montmartre Butte so we didn't hear any rowdiness....oh yeah as far as I could determine, no knuckleheads firing pistols into the air like Americans do to celebrate (!) 4th of July ("hey there Ralphie let's celebrate Independence Day by shootin' wunnuh our neighbors!").
Old Apr 21st, 1999, 11:48 AM
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Actually, there are three stages in the celebration : on the 13th at night, it's traditionnally "dancing in the streets" night. There are bands in every sizeable town square, and in every fire-brigade (the famous "bal des pompiers"). This night can go wild, especially now, as John mentioned, with lots of bored youngsters descending from the suburbs. Firecrackers everywhere !
Then, on the 14th itself, the military parade and a normal holiday.
Finally, on the night of the 14th, the big fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. Needless to say, very crowded. But worth the wait, provided the weather is OK.
And there is another kind of Bastille day, but it's only happened once so far : it's when France wins the soccer world cup on the 12th, and there are three non-stop days of celebration through the 14th. But I don't think I'll live long enough to see that again !
Old Feb 20th, 2001, 10:13 AM
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and there are many many more posts on this

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