Tuesday, 23 November 2010

29 April 2011 - watch the British Royal Wedding or experience something more interesting?

Kate Middleton and Prince William have set the date. Their big day at London's Westminster Abbey is Friday 29 April 2011, which has been declared a bank holiday in England and Wales.

However, if the pomp and circumstance of a Great British royal romance isn't for you, here's a rundown of festivals and events happening around the world on and around the 29th. Getting sucked into watching the TV footage in a bar during your travels isn't a foregone conclusion. Especially when there's cheese tasting and rice cooking contests around instead. Any other ideas? The more the merrier.

(Image of Dana Point, California by Alex E. Proimos)


Showa Day (Showa no hi), National holiday (29 April)
Marks the birthday of former Emperor Showa (Hirohito).

Australian Celtic Festival, Glen Innes (28 April - 1 May)
Celebrate Celtic culture, food, dance, history and music. australiancelticfestival.com

New Zealand
Arrowtown Autumn Festival, Arrowtown, South Island (29 April- 8 May)
Visitors and residents line the footpaths to cheer on the floats, highland pipe band, vintage cars and street entertainers.

California Wine Festival, Dana Point (29-30 April)
One of California's most popular wine events, perhaps because of the food, music, sea and sunshine. Hundreds of California's red and white wines, live music, dozens of top chefs and specialty food stalls. californiawinefestival.com

Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood and Wine Festival, Oregon (29 April-1 May)
The Oregon Coast's largest festival of northwest cuisine, wines, arts and crafts. oldoregon.com

Colleton County Rice Festival, Walterboro, South Carolina (April 29-1 May)
A heritage festival with an arts and crafts, parades and rice cooking contests. scfestival-rice.com

UK & Ireland
Paignton Bike Festival, Torbay, South Devon (29 April-1 May)
A three-day charity event with live music, entertainment, stunt bikes and motorbikes, organised by BMAD (Bikers Make A Difference). bmad.co.uk/festival.html

Bristol Folk Festival (29 April-1 May)
Making a comeback after 32 years, to Bristol's Colston Hall. Folk sensation Seth Lakeman will feature, as will Morris Dancers and most intriguingly 'indoor camping'. bristolfolkfestival.com

International Choral Festival, Cork (27 April-1 May)
This festival in its 57th year celebrates choral and vocal music with a programme of competitions, galas, fringe concerts and public performances. corkchoral.ie

South Africa
SA Cheese Festival, Sandrigham Estate, Stellenbosch (29 April-2 May)
A weekend treat for cheese lovers who want to sample South African fromage alongside wines, nuts and olives. cheesefestival.co.za
And here is the rest of it.
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