Quebec prepares for 400th anniversary

Sept. 28, 2007 at 4:40 PM
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QUEBEC, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Quebec is preparing for a 10-month celebration of a milestone no other city in Canada has reached -- its 400th anniversary.

The oldest city in Canada was founded July 3, 1608, by the French explorer Samuel de Champlain. Officials plan to kick off the festivities in January and continue into October, USA Today reports.

They also hope that the anniversary will lure tourists from the United States and keep them coming back. About 70 percent of Quebec’s tourists now come from the province of Quebec.

The city seemingly got a boost from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. In 2002, about 5.5 million tourists arrived, up 22 percent from 2001.

Quebec seems more European than North American. It is the only walled city on the continent and boasts streets and buildings that date back to the 17th century.

While Montreal is also a Francophone city, far more of Quebec’s residents speak French only.

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