Because of the lingering impact from the COVID-19 pandemic, the East Town Association has transformed the annual “Storm the Bastille” run on July 9 into a virtual event, allowing for mass participation while protecting public safety.

The non-profit organization spent weeks considering health conditions around the summer season, and what measures were necessary to mitigate any concerns and challenges for hosting large gatherings of people.

With guidance from elected officials, its Board of Directors, and community leaders, it made the difficult decision not to host events in June and July for all of its annual events including: Thursday night Jazz in the Park concerts, Saturday morning Cathedral Square Markets, and the Bastille Days Festival which was scheduled for July 9 to 12.

“We are currently working on alternative dates and options to host our world class Bastille Days event in the Fall, pending any future developments due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Emily McElwee, Executive Director of the East Town Association, in a press statement. “The health and welfare of the community is our number one priority and we will do our part to keep the best interests of our attendees and vendors in mind.”

for the Virtual Madison Medical Affiliates Storm the Bastille 5K Run, as part of the registration fee runners will get a bib and commemorative long sleeve t-shirt shipped to their door. Proceeds will continue to support the East Town Association’s mission.

Participants are encouraged to share “storm” selfies online, track and record their time, and connect digitally via the Bastille Days website. Runners can choose their own course, date, and time, and are reminded to exercise all necessary health and safety precautions when running.

“In the spirit of the festival and tradition, we ask that you complete the fun run between Thursday, July 9th and Sunday, July 12th,” added McElwee. “We will have some exciting online engagements and programming during that time, and we’d love your Storm experience to be a part of it all.”

As sponsor of “Storm the Bastille” race, Madison Medical Affiliates has been recognized as having some of Milwaukee’s top doctors and health care professionals. The medical practice serves the downtown Milwaukee community, as well as southeastern Wisconsin, from clinic locations throughout the Milwaukee area, and one in particular on Cathedral Square Park.

For nearly 40 years, East Town Association has been dedicated to community development through both large events and small member gatherings, serving as a catalyst for growth within the Milwaukee and arts community. It has also provided needed venues for up-and-coming local artists at Bastille Days and Jazz in the Park, been an invaluable asset for bars and restaurants in Southeastern Wisconsin, and has served as an incubator for small local businesses and farmers via our Cathedral Square Market.

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Claudio Martinez and Lee Matz

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