Bastille Days: Cathedral Square security beefed up

Bastille Days returned to Milwaukee's Cathedral Square on Thursday, July 14 after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus.

With around 100,000 people expected to stop by during the four-day event, the French-themed festival is the city's biggest free party each summer. 

"I have been going since the kids were little, probably 10-15 years," said Vicki Linzmeyer. "We were just driving here, and I said, I’m not gonna lie, there was a little part of me that was a little nervous about coming here today."

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Any time a large group gathers in public, safety becomes the top priority. With recent tragedies happening at large public events, Linzmeyer said her guard is always up.

"That’s what I’m doing is spending more time just kind of being familiar with my surroundings, watching people," she said.

Bastille Days 2022 at Cathedral Square

"Everybody wants to have a good time, and everybody wants to go to sleep in their homes and come back the next day," said Anne LePlae.

"In the 39 years we have had this festival, we have invested the most in security this year," said East Town Association's Eddie Sturkey.

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East Town Association put Bastille Days together in four months, and safety was at the top of the list. Milwaukee police, a 24/7 private security team and barricades will line the festival to ensure everyone's safety.

"We try to think of every scenario we can and to dedicate as many resources we could to putting on a secure event," Sturkey said.

Bastille Days 2022 at Cathedral Square

"I do feel safe. I feel it’s not over-crowded, I’m staying aware," said Linzmeyer.

While enjoying some family time and a sweet begniet, attendees didn't forget about the "Storm the Bastille" 5K Run/Walk – which kicks off the festivities.

Organizers told FOX6 News MPD is providing additional security and blocking off roads.