Paris' Champs-Élysées prepares to host a massive outdoor picnic to renew the French capital's iconic boulevard | Travel

Paris' most famous avenue, the Champs-Élysées, is set to host a massive outdoor picnic on Sunday as the French capital's iconic boulevard is getting a makeover. Some 273,000 people have signed up for the event, which will feature a 216-metre-long red-and-white checked carpet in the picnic area and free boxed lunches provided by eight restaurants affiliated with the organisers.

About 4,000 people were selected to participate. "Big Picnic"Each guest can invite up to 6 additional people (Pexels (for representative))
Approximately 4,000 people will be selected to participate in “le grand pique-nique,” and each guest will be invited to bring up to six additional people. (Pexels (for representation))

Around 4,000 people have been selected to take part in “le grand piquenique,” with each guest being invited to bring up to six additional people and choose between two seatings, at noon or 2 p.m.

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Organisers said the “world's largest tablecloth” will be made from 25 pieces of recycled textile and assembled on-site by 150 workers.

The aim of the event is to show that the Champs-Elysées, famous for its luxury boutiques and restaurants, is not just a great place to shop, said Marc-Antoine Jamet, president of the Champs-Elysées Committee, which organises the event.

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“This is a way of saying to Parisians: 'Come back to the Champs-Élysées,'” he said.

In 2023, the association will transform the street into an outdoor “dictation” spellathon, pitting thousands of France's smartest bookworms against one another.

Organizers set up 1,779 desks along the main street and aimed to break the world record for the dictation spelling bee.

The boulevard is a top tourist attraction but has been gradually abandoned by locals in recent years. (Also Read | Norway to tighten entry restrictions for travelers from Russia from next week)

The historic UGC Normandie cinema, which opened in 1937, is set to close in June due to declining sales.

The committee was due to present an 1,800-page study report on possible ways to redevelop the Champs-Elysees on Monday.

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