Maximilien Carlier // Photo credit: Philippe HUGUEN / AFP 14:50 pm, September 02, 2023

The Lille Braderie, the largest in Europe, opened its doors a few hours ago. For two days, two million people will march through the streets of Lille, looking for bargains. Visitors who will also visit the restaurants to devour the star dish of the event: mussels and fries.

That's it, the kick-off is on! In Lille this Saturday and Sunday, nearly two million people will navigate the aisles of the big sale. Objective: to find his rare pearl on the thousands of stands scattered throughout the city. And after this huge treasure hunt, the hundreds of thousands of visitors and bradeux will be able to relax in the many restaurants of the city and eat the iconic dish of the sale: mussels and fries.

Rising rates

"It's a tradition in our family. We've been doing the sale for 20 years. And it's been 20 years of mussels and fries," jokes Karine, originally from Douai. "You have to. I invite everyone in France to come and make it at least once for the atmosphere, for the typical dishes of the north, "adds Grégory, her spouse.

Only downside this year according to them, the rise in prices. From now on, you have to pay 15 euros for mussels and fries, it is 1.50 euros more than last year. However, this does not prevent consumers from coming and growing the piles of mussels in front of restaurants.

Piles of mussels in front of restaurants are starting to emerge. Photo credit: Maximilien Carlier

"It's the best day of the year"

The terraces are filled, as are the mussel pots and trays of fries. There are everywhere. "It's the best day of the year. We'll see if we do better than last year. It's stressful, we have adrenaline, we run in all directions but it's for days like that that we do this job, "says Lucas, manager of the restaurant "Le métropole".

In total, 3,600 exhibitors are present for this sale. Enough to attract people. And for this new edition, Lille will try to beat the record for the largest caterpillar in the world, currently held by Normans.