What's on worldwide
Sunday 23 August 1998
Bognor Regis, England
The annual Bognor Birdman Competition to see who can fly furthest off the end of Bognor Pier, while looking as ridiculous as you possibly can. The person who manages the longest flight claims a pounds 750 prize but anybody who can manage more than 100 metres will claim a bonus of no less than pounds 15,000. This bonus has never yet been claimed; the closest anyone has got is 89 metres.
In the small Spanish town of Bunol in the province of Valencia, the world's largest tomato fight takes place, as it has done every year since 1945. Known as La Tomatina, this preposterous waste of good fruit is justified on the grounds of an annual, unavoidable glut. With four trucks carrying around two tons of ammo and thousands of people taking part (mostly young and dressed in swimming costumes), the resulting carnage - in which the town square and all its occupants turn entirely red - is said to resemble a blood-bath. It looks like the whole town is going to be red-handed ... and faced ... and footed ... and ...
The battle of Largs may have taken place in 1263, but you can still commemorate its passing in modern North Ayrshire. The original battle was a tremendous victory for the forces of King Alexander III over his arch rival, Haakon of Norway. But the re-enactment will be far more friendly. The Regia Anglorum group, decked-out in full Viking regalia, will inhabit the village's eight longhuts, while fire works, craft fairs and re-enactments take place over the weekend. There's even something for the more contemporary taste-buds - Voulez Vous, another Abba tribute band, appears on the Friday. Why? Because of the Scandinavian theme, apparently.
26 August to 1 Sept
Maybe the fab four weren't quite envisaging the location of future fan- club garden parties when they wrote Strawberry Fields, but that's what the park becomes on Sunday night. As part of the International Beatles Festival, various legendary Liverpudlian locations will be taken over by cover bands and fans from around the world in tribute to the city's famous ex-residents. Instant Karma play the Adelphi hotel on Friday with "the concert that Lennon never gave", performing the solo tracks he never could because of his untimely death. There's an auction of memorabilia on Saturday and an all-day convention on Monday. With a day, night, and after-midnight programme there should be some time in the schedule to take a tour and visit Lennon's childhood home, recently acquired by the National Trust.
27 August to 3 Sept
Impressive architecture, scenery, spas, restaurants, bars, cafes ... there's already plenty to do and see in Budapest without the Jewish Summer Festival, a jam-packed eight-day event. With a concert from Israeli cantor Dudu Fischer, the Maccabi karate show, cabarets, Jewish film and book days, craft fairs and a performance of A Fiddler on the Roof at the Budapest Operetta Theatre the only problem should be seeing it all.
27 August to 7 Sept
Along with the jazz festival and Just For Laughs festival, the World Film Festival is one of Montreal's biggest summer celebrations. This competitive event attracts film fanatics from across the globe with myriad screenings daily, in venues throughout the city.
As Horsens takes a step back in time to the 15th century for the European Medieval Fair; over 100,000 pilgrims, peasants, executioners and minstrels will throw off their more modern attire and gather in the city. Mounted Knights will battle for a maiden's honour, whores, monks and beggars will wander the city's alleys and medieval street vendors will sell authentic food and drink.
Wicked witches of the west, gather your cauldrons and broomsticks and head for Cervera in north western Spain for the annual witch festival. One of its streets, the "witches' Corridor", fills with loco residents dressed as devils and witches. The festival comes to an, ahem, climax when a man dressed as Satan produces a giant plastic penis and sprays milk over an eager crowd.
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