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Once again, you’ll be able to Storm the Bastille this July

 An elevated perpsective of a large crowd of runners on the street surrounded by tall buildings illuminated at night.
Melissa Miller Music Photography
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East Town Association

The Cathedral Square-adjacent Bastille Days will hold its 40th annual festival from July 13-16, with day one of the event again featuring “Storm the Bastille,” a five-kilometer run/walk winding through downtown and the Third Ward.

I last did any Bastille storming many years ago, when the run seemed to be a slightly more casual affair. These days, it’s a professionally timed event with a route organizers call “not certified but very close.” So still a little casual, and still one of the few opportunities to run on the actual streets of downtown Milwaukee without dodging The Hop or having people blare their horns at you.

The run/walk, which commemorates the storming of the prison that sparked the French Revolution, steps off at 825 N. Jefferson St. right next to Cathedral Square at 9 p.m. The route goes as far east as Prospect Avenue before heading west to Broadway, south to Menomonee Street in the Third Ward and then back to the start-finish line.

East Town Association

If you regret your decision to run 3.1 miles, perhaps after starting the day at the festival, there’s a bail-out point halfway through at the Milwaukee Athletic Club water station. There’s also an opportunity to get a free beer or water when you’re done with the race, whether you cover the whole course or not.

Registration is open now at an early bird rate of $30, which is good through May 31. You also need to sign up by July 4 to guarantee yourself a commemorative t-shirt. More information about all aspects of the run/walk is available on the registration webpage.