TOP
Sunday,July 12,2020 04:48 AM
  • Home
  • News
  • France cancels 2020 Bastille Day parade over coronavirus

France cancels 2020 Bastille Day parade over coronavirus

By Ruth Nasejje

Added 4th June 2020 02:33 PM

The annual parade to mark the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris during the French Revolution, has been held on the Champs-Elysees since World War I.

France cancels 2020 Bastille Day parade over coronavirus

In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 members of the French Republican Guard (Garde Republicaine) take part in the annual Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees avenue, with the Arc de triomphe on the back ground in Paris.

The annual parade to mark the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris during the French Revolution, has been held on the Champs-Elysees since World War I.

FRANCE     PARADE   CORONAVIRUS 

France said Thursday it will not hold the Bastille Day military parade due to social distancing norms, replacing it with a ceremony to pay tribute to health workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Rather than the traditional march of soldiers and display of military hardware down the Champs-Elysees on July 14, this year will see a much smaller ceremony at the Place de la Concorde, where the parade normally ends, the presidency said.

The annual parade to mark the July 14, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress in Paris during the French Revolution, has been held on the Champs-Elysees since World War I.

[image_library_tag aa6363e3-35fb-4744-90b1-844e79b32e24 720x480 height="480" width="720" alt="In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 French soldiers parade in Leclerc tanks during the Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2019." ]
In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 French soldiers parade in Leclerc tanks during the Bastille Day military parade down the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on July 14, 2019.

It starts at the Arc de Triomphe, a monument to those who have fought for France, to the Place de la Concorde, where King Louix XVI was beheaded in 1793 in the revolution that overthrew France's monarchy.

This year, the square will host a military ceremony with some 2,000 participants and 2,500 guests, who will gather in strict respect of social distancing rules seeking to halt the spread of the virus that has killed more than 29,000 people in France to date.

It will include a highlight of the yearly show -- the flypast -- in honour of medical personnel and all others "mobilised against the virus," the Elysee presidential palace announced.

The event will likely not be open to the public, although this decision could be reevaluated if the health situation improves before then.

[image_library_tag 7031fc0b-24e4-492c-ada8-e2a85be53d07 720x479 height="479" width="720" alt="In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 a French soldier stands in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris prior to the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue. " ]
In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 a French soldier stands in front of the Arc de Triomphe in Paris prior to the Bastille Day military parade on the Champs-Elysees avenue.

Every year, thousands of people, young and old, throng the Champs-Elysees to view the spectacle of military personnel, tanks and other weapons of war rolling down the avenue to army bands as French flags flutter everywhere.

Last year's parade, themed to celebrate European military cooperation, was marred by violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters.

A year earlier, two motorcyclists from the French national gendarmerie collided during the parade and fighter jets sprayed the colours of the nation's flag in the wrong order.

President Emmanuel Macron, in his first months in office, used the 2017 Bastille Day parade to wow his guest of honour, freshly-inaugurated US President Donald Trump.

Trump was so taken by the event that he ordered a similar military parade to be held in Washington for the July 4 celebrations.

[image_library_tag 33ec8fb5-200e-4dc7-a2b1-33f1172702d5 720x479 height="479" width="720" alt="In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 French elite acrobatic flying team " patrouille="" de="" france="" paf="" performs="" a="" flying="" display="" over="" the="" champs-elysees="" avenue="" in="" paris="" during="" annual="" bastille="" day="" military="" parade="" ]
In this file photo taken on July 14, 2019 French elite acrobatic flying team "Patrouille de France" (PAF) performs a flying display over the Champs-Elysees avenue, in Paris, during the annual Bastille Day military parade.

Related articles

More From The Author

More From The Author