Angela Allen

Quebec City celebrates its 400th anniversary next year with festivities stretching over 10 months.

Jamestown, Va., turned 400 this year, St. Augustine, Fla., is 442 years old and Santa Fe will celebrate four centuries of settlement in 2009, placing Quebec among North America’s elite old cities.

With its French heritage of four-season festivals, expect this long birthday to be filled with joie de vivre.

The party bursts into action with a fireworks countdown on Dec. 31 and continues through Oct. 19, 2008.

Several events, including an enhanced Quebec City Summer Festival and an outdoor urban opera with an accent on the city’s vibrant street life, will occur July 3-6, 2008. July 3, 1608, marks the official date of Quebec City’s first permanent settlement.

The big-bang closing event on Oct. 19, 2008, will be a one-time Cirque de Soleil show presented on the Plains of Abraham, the Central Park of Quebec City.

Other highlights include:

Le Moulin a Images, or Image Mill, designed by filmmaker and playwright Robert Lepage. The multimedia show will be projected onto silos in the Old Port area throughout the summer 2008.

The Musee National des Beaux Arts du Quebec will display works from the Louvre’s antiquity’s collections June 5-Oct. 26, 2008.

Quebec City will plant 400,000 new trees in May and June.

Quebec City, which takes pride in its organized tourism industry as well as its history, plans to put on a world-class bash, drawing 9 million visitors in 2008.

“The people of Quebec City really like to celebrate,” said Paule Bergeron of Quebec City Tourism Office. “But many North Americans have a connection by marriage or birth or historical ties. They are invited.”

For information, contact Quebec City Tourism at, 1-877-783-1608.

Find links to the region’s history, museums and cultural institutions at

View more.