The most spectacular part of the 2018 Bastille Day celebrations is almost certainly the military parade on the Champs-Élysées.
The troops will march for around two hours in the presence of our President Emmanuel Macron and an appreciative crowd of onlookers, and there are special events planned before and after…
The parade starts at 10am, but the troops will be in place from 9.20am, so best arrive very early to make sure you get a good spot. It’s standing room only on the upper part of the Champs-Elysées, with seats to be had at the lower end of the avenue near place de la Concorde.
The President arrives at 10am, then at 10.20am there’s a fifteen-minute show on the theme ‘Fraternité d’armes sous l’uniforme, l’engagement d’une vie‘ with the Republican Guard and, for the first time, troops on foot, horses and motorbikes.
Next, there’s a plane fly-by at 10.35am, and at 10.45am troops from this year’s guest countries will parade – Japan (to celebrate 160 years of diplomatic relations between Japan and France) and Singapore.
At 11am, footsoldiers will descend the most beautiful avenue in the world, before the helicopters fly past at 11.25am, followed by motorised troups at 11.30am.
At 11.40am there are troops on horseback, and at 11.45am a thirteen-minute musical medley will finish off the event so that the President can leave at midday.
But that’s not all!
After a couple of years of absence, we’re happy to see the return of ‘Les Français rencontrent leurs armées’ on the Esplanade des Invalides, near our hotels.
Starting at 2pm, this event allows you get up close to five helicopters and twenty-four vehicles, with thirty stalls to give you more info about what the army’s about, and how you could possibly be part of it.
Actually, the entire permanent collection of the Army Museum will be free for the day, and entrance to their latest temporary exhibition Napoleon the strategist will be at the reduced rate of 10€ for everyone.
The military parade is on the Champs-Élysées (here) on 14th July 2018 from 10am-midday