Bastille Day celebration in Daley Plaza

A bit of France came to Chicago yesterday. Bastille Day, the French national holiday, was celebrated in Daley Plaza. Crepes, croissants, French wines and Champagne were available to the crowds who inundated the plaza.

The event was sponsored by the French Consulate in Chicago andlocal French speaking societies. The Consul gave a moving speech on about France and the United States being intertwined for well over two hundred years.

The traditional waiters race was held. Waiters carry water, representing wine, in glasses on trays around a course. The object is to cross the finish line without dropping the glasses.

Pentanque, a game played throughout France, was played on two courts set up in the plaza. Petanque is similar to bocce.

Chicago is home to a large number of French ethnics and Francophiles.

Chicago has a long history with France. Illinois was once part of French territory in the New World. French explorers Joliet, Marquette, and LaSalle, realized and reported the geographic and commercial significance of the marshes and swamps around Lake Michigan and what is now the Chicago River.

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