July-14th Firework Display and Balls Cancelled in Lyon

Published: 2020/07/11
The traditional 14th of July firework display on Fourvière Hilll will not be taking place this year. This announcement was to be expected as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


“In a will to ensure public peace and to limit the gatherings, because of the sanitary situation related to COVID-19, the City of Lyon, in agreement with the Prefecture of the Rhone, made the decision to cancel the fireworks and traditional balls of July 14th”, stated this Friday evening by the municipality.

An official military ceremony in Lyon 6th

The City of Lyon adds that the presence of security personnel will be reinforced in public spaces on that French National Day “in order to ensure the safety of all”. In addition, rue Édouard Herriot and rue de la République (Lyon 2) will be pedestrianized for the occasion.

Bastille Day in France: Fireworks in Lyon

© Only Lyon Tourisme

An official military ceremony will be held at 3:30pm on the 13th of July at cours Franklin Roosevelt in the 6th arrondissement. The Mayor of Lyon, Grégory Doucet, the Prefect of the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, Pascal Mailhos, and General Philippe Loiacono, Lyon’s military governor will be in attendance.

The units of Operation Resilience, the armed forces health service, representatives of civil society, the departmental and metropolitan fire service, and the State and healthcare personnel will be honored at the ceremony.


Why do French people celebrate July 14?

The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, also known as a major turning point of the French Revolution, has been commemorated in France for more than two centuries.

On the morning of July 14, civilians seized weapons from the armoury at the Invalides and marched towards the Bastille, a fortress mostly used as a state prison by King Louis XVI.

After a bloody encounter, the crowd stormed into the Bastille and released a handful of prisoners held there, marking an important moment in history in which liberty, democracy and the struggle against oppression for all people of France were more prominent than ever.

Today, the festivities of July 14 are usually filled with plenty of fun, socializing and sharing good food. In Paris, the traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées is a meticulously planned spectacle, and dancing and fireworks displays or special illuminations are organized all over the country.

Bastille-Day in Lyon

Here in Lyon, fireworks are traditionally a major part of Bastille Day celebrations. From 10:30pm on, fireworks light up Lyon’s skies.

We typically set off fireworks from three sites in Lyon: the gardens of the ECAM, the conservatoire terrace and parc des Hauteurs. It is common for people to gather at the quays of the Saône to see the display.

However, this July 14 2020, we will be taking the time to commemorate our roots and the unity of the French people on that day in 1789, from home.