Get ready for arguably the most impressive part of the Bastille Day celebrations on 14th July – the military parade on the Champs-Élysées which goes on for two hours 😳, with nigh on 4,300 female and male soldiers, 196 vehicles, 67 planes, 40 helicopters and 270 members of the Republican Guard on horseback.
However, it’s not the only big military event of the day…
It’s no surprise that the parade down the Champs-Elysées on the 14th July for Bastille Day is organised with military precision.
Although the parade itself doesn’t kick off until 10.20am, the troops are all in place an hour earlier, and French President Emmanuel Macron rolls in at 10am, ready for the initial presentation called ‘innovation in the army’ (which includes drones and robots!).
At 10.35am there’s the fly-by, followed by ground troops at 10.45am (for forty minutes!) with motorised and horse-mounted troops following that.
At 11.50am there’s a final presentation, on the theme of injuries in the army, with music by the Paris fire brigades and singing from military school choirs. And at 12.05pm precisely, the President leaves the scene.
If you want to see the order of the parade, there’s a huge image at the bottom of this article listing everything in detail.
But wait – the day is not over for the French army. Fancy meeting some military women and men?…
The special event les Français à la rencontre de leurs armées (the French meet their armies) is taking place once again at Invalides, from 2-6pm. Around thirty different military vehicles will be presented to the public (planes, helicopters, tanks…), and you’ll be able to watch demonstrations of how to fold a parachute, try on a bulletproof vest, see displays by the Paris firemen/women, there’s an assault course for kids…
The plan of everything on offer can be seen here (PDF).
The afternoon event is also a moment when you can help save some lives. You can donate blood at the Hôtel National des Invalides form 10am-5pm.
More info here.
The military parade is on the Champs-Élysées (here) on 14th July 2019 from 10am-midday (but get there early)
The French meet their armies is at Invalides (here) on 14th July 2019 from 2-6pm
Both are free!
Below you’ll find the graphic showing the order of the military parade, and it is l-o-n-g!