Bastille Day in Chicago

Bastille Day is coming up and if you are a Francophile like me, you might enjoy some of the festivities near Lakeview that celebrate French Independence.  Although the official date commemorating the storming of the Bastille is July 14th, activities in Chicago start as early as Thursday, July 11th,  with the Bastille Day Run.  The 5K & 8K run (walk too) starts and finishes near the Peggy Notebardt Museum in nearby Lincoln Park.  The race starts just after 7 pm and is followed by a post race party in the park that ends at 10 pm.  Online registration for this event ends July 8th but participants can register in person on race day. To register or for more information go to:

            The celebration continues on Saturday July 13 at Daley Plaza with “Bastille Day 2013,” a collaboration of the French Consulate and The Committee of French Speaking Society.  The event starts at 4pm activities and great music.  French wine, champagne and craft beers will all be available for purchase to go with everything from crepes to croissants.   The festival is free, kid-friendly  and easy to get too from the Old Chicago Inn.  Just catch the Red Line at Belmont to Lake Street and walk a few short blocks to the plaza.  For the full line-up of artists, vendors and activities go to

One of the vendors participating in this year’s fête is La Boulangerie, an authentic French bakery, which has its second location right here in Lakeview.  La Boulangerie, 915 West Belmont Avenue, is a definitely worth a visit if you like French pastries. They make a darn good sandwich too.   In fact, whenever we need French bread for a party or reception at the Old Chicago Inn, this is our go to bakery.

Last but not least, my favorite way to celebrate Bastille Day, and all things French, is to have a glass of bubbly.  At Room 13, our speakeasy lounge at the Old Chicago Inn, our house sparkling wine is Saint-Hilaire.  At least a hundred years before the first champagne was made, Benedictine Monks in Limoux created France’s original sparkling wine.  Chenin Blanc, Mauzac and Chardonnay grapes contribute to this delightful wine that will have you saying, “Vive La France!” after the first sip.  Enjoy it by the glass on Friday or Saturday night in Room 13 or have a bottle waiting for you at check-in.

Bienvenue au le Old Chicago Inn!

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