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French Connection Day

Parade Field
Sunday, August 9
10 am – 4 pm

One of the park’s signature events is back for its 12th year! Enjoy a French open-air market by Bensidoun, as well as can-can dancers, strolling mime, accordionist, a stilt walker, and live music.  There will be a craft project for kids, storytime with Madeleine, and the French yard game pétanque (courtesy of Chicago Pétanque Club). For refreshments, there will be special French treats in Bertie’s Bistro as well as a beer and wine tent. Make sure to stop by the 23 foot Eiffel Tower for the perfect photo op! Event entry is free with $10 parking.

Why We Have a French Connection Day

French Connection Day was established to help our visitors understand the connection we have to France and how we got our name. The French theme commemorates an important chapter in the life of Robert R. McCormick, Cantigny’s benefactor. In 1918, at age 37, Colonel McCormick commanded an artillery unit in the Battle of Cantigny in France as a member of the U.S. Army’s First Division. It was America’s first significant victory in World War I and the battle had a major impact on the Colonel. Upon returning to Wheaton, he renamed his estate after the tiny village in France that he and his fellow soldiers liberated from German occupation.

In his will, McCormick established Cantigny “as a public park and museum for the recreation, instruction and welfare of the people of the State of Illinois.” The 500-acre estate was his gift to the community and this event our gift to his legacy.

*This event is not connected to any other scheme, incident, movie, band or company by the same name.