The Lille Thing Means A Lot

RAFTO/ANDIA

Lille knows how to give a party. On Dec. 6, the city inaugurated its year as European Cultural Capital for 2004 with a spectacular "White Ball" street bash that had more than 500,000 revelers jamming all night.

And that's just the start of an $89 million program of attractions — from a 4,000-sq-m sculpted forest suspended (upside down, at that!) above the city streets to nightly pop, rock, rap and techno concerts; 2,130 events in all — designed to bring tourists flocking to Lille. Not that it has any shortage of visitors.

In recent years, the TGV high-speed trains...

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