Bastille Day celebrations coming to Reading
July 05, 2012
Three Frenchmen who live and work in Reading will bring the town’s first Bastille Day to Forbury Gardens.
Vincent Valère, known to hundreds of customers where he works at The Place to Eat at John Lewis, Frédéric Kayrouz, a manager at an electronics firm, and Boubacar Dembele, who teaches students with learning difficulties, have teamed up to lay on Bastille 2012 on Saturday, July 14.
A French market, an Olympiad, French games, arts, theatre and story-telling and music along with a host of other attractions, has been arranged and there will be guest appearances from Mayor of Reading Councillor Jenny Rynn and managing director of John Lewis Reading, Gordon Stenton.
Charities will have stands and a Café Parisien will be established to contribute to a theme of the mix of cultures.
Local firms and other organisations taking part include Decathlon, Forbury’s restaurant, Advance Gym, France at Home, Hogarth Productions, Reading UK CIC and the council and the former 3Bs pub will open for music in the evening.
Mr Kayrouz said they expected to make a loss on the event but their aim was to thank Reading and attract as many people as they could for a truly multi-cultural day. They hope to get French-based Accord Hotels which owns Novotel and Ibis to help too.
He said: “To a certain extent we are bringing a bit of France to Reading. We are all here, we work here. I have been here 10 years, I go to France for my holidays. We need to give something back.”
He added: “The most important thing is to create that slow pace of life that France has.”
If the day is successful, it may become an annual event, celebrating cultures throughout Europe and beyond.
The day is free to attend and the Three Frogs (as they call themselves) are encouraging those planning to come to register their interest beforehand on the event website, www.bastille2012.co.uk.
Contact Mr Kayrouz on 07760 273 710 or Mr Valère on firstname.lastname@example.org.