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Paris’ traffic-clogged Champs-Elysees turned into a mass picnic blanket for an unusual meal

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PARIS (AP) — The French capital’s most famous street, the Champs-Élysées, transformed into a massive picnic blanket Sunday as around 4,000 people sat in the sun enjoying an al fresco meal.

The lucky picnickers were selected via a draw and provided with free baskets loaded with delicacies from some top Paris chefs, including puff pastries and creative sandwiches.

The food was prepared in eight temporary kitchens set up along the avenue and provided by restaurants along the avenue, which include the famed Fouquet’s — as well as McDonald’s.

A giant tablecloth running 216 meters (236 yards) from the Arc de Triomphe to the intersection of Avenue George V served as the sitting area for the event, which came exactly two months before Paris hosts the opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics.

The tablecloth had a total surface area of 4,212 square meters (45,338 square feet) and was made in France from 100% recycled fibers, according to organizers.

Mayor Anne Hidalgo also visited the picnickers. The Champs-Élysées Committee has staged other open-air events in the past, including a mass movie showing and the world’s largest dictation event.

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