8 August

Koblenz, Germany

The Rhine in Flames festival will see 500,000 people lining the famous river to watch this amazing spectacle. Six towns - Koblenz, Lahnsten, Brey, Braubach, Rhens and Spay - will provide entertainment throughout the day before the highlight of the festivities starts in the evening - the firework display. These will light up the river valley between the famous Hamm vineyard in Boppard and the Deutsches Eck in Koblenz, a distance of 17km. And more than 70 boats will make up the flotilla plying the river.

7-19 August

Budapest, Hungary

The annual "Budafest" is a summer celebration of ballet and opera in this great old city of the Habsburgs. There will be acts performed by home-grown Hungarian singers and dancers, as well as by performers from other countries.

2-9 August

Northern Ireland

The Sperrins Hill Walking festival will take place on the borders of Counties Londonderry and Tyrone. Hundreds of walkers of all levels will take invigorating walks through the forest parks and nature trails of the Sperrins. All rambles will be led by professional guides and the highlight will be the 14km Glenshane Forest walk which takes in the Ponderosa, which is the highest pub in Northern Ireland. There are also one-week walking packages available (tel: 01648 300050).

6-9 August

Omak, Washington, USA

A traditional American rodeo, known as the Omak Stampede, is taking place in this small town. The 350 or so participants are expected to attract the usual stampede of visitors. The event is followed by the so-called "World Famous Suicide Race", in which the riders charge up to the very top of a nearby hill, and then charge down the other side and proceed to swim across a river before returning to the rodeo arena. The rodeo and the race themselves have been annual events for the past 65 years. So popular has the show become across the States, it is now seen as the leader in the field. And in spite of its name, the safety record of the suicide race is said to be better than at conventional horse- racing events.

7-15 August

Stockholm, Sweden

This year's European City of Culture, Stockholm will host its Water Festival. There are diving competitions, dinghy races and concerts with, among others, Tom Jones and Bjork. Food and drink from all over the world are available and children will be kept entertained by sports, games and magic. Contact the Swedish Tourist Board for details about the festival and Stockholm itself (tel: 0171-724 5868).

Caroline Dickens

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