fun festivals

Fun Festivals – Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship

You say you want to attend a contest that is conceptually easy to win? One that’s not physically demanding? Then the Finnish Dialect Speaking Championship is the event for you. It’s held in early July in Kuopio, Finland. Keep in mind, past winners tend to possess a strong command of this Nordic language.

Finnish girl (right) practices with her dog (left)

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Finnish Sauna World Championship

Relax while competing! Enter the Finnish Sauna World Championship. Simply stay the longest inside Finnish sauna in a temperature of 110 degrees centigrade, 240 degrees Fahrenheit.

Thousands attend the championship in Heinola, Finland, but only dozens compete. Why? Because the temperature of the sauna is 28 degrees over the boiling point of water. But there’s no humidity! It’s true, sauna’s humidity is low, running from 10-to-25 percent. So give it a whirl. Compete!

Or maybe not, in 2010 a contest died. Staying a sauna too long can do nasty things to a body. Spectate!

But maybe you have a competitive nature, while having the inactive disposition of a rock. Then this competition is for you. Compete!

Maybe you like the idea of thousands of spectators and TV audiences watching your nearly naked, sweaty body, covered with only a towel. Compete!

It’s held in August, when it’s outside anyway. Compete!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Rock, Paper, Scissors

 

A rock

I wish I had known about the following event when I was more athletic, agile, and the intellectual terror of the world. But whatever your skill level, run, jump and hop to the Rock, Paper, Scissors World Championship in Toronto, Canada. Rock, paper, scissors (RPS) is often called the best non-violent resolution to conflicts the world over. It must be so; Canadian RPS grand masters have successfully kept their country out of major conflicts for decades. Culinary personal trainers will tell would be contestants to dedicate 30 minutes each day to finger-flexing, wrist-twisting, and elbow-bending exercises if they wish to do at all well at the championship. Cross training by playing chess is often recommended as well.

RPS hit the big time when, In 2004, Fox Sports Net(tm) televised its championship. The success of the movie Dodgeball piqued the entertainment’s industry in kids’ sports. Indeed in 2007 the documentary  Rock Paper Scissors: A Greek Tragedy, depicted concerns that the Rock-Paper-Scissors game would lose its soul soul to corporate America, In fact  some RPS leagues even had Bud Light Girls(tm) performing at tournaments.

Some people with too much time on their hands said that RPS is not really sport, like curling. Proponents of RPS say, “Na, na, poo, poo to you” pointing to the high level of concentration needed to perform well, like in chess. Top-notch players watch themselves in mirrors to see if they show any tells; moves that tell the opponent what you’re going to do. Just like poker.

This is the spot where’d I tell you when the tournament is the take place and describe entry fees, side events, etc. Alas and alack, Toronto hasn’t held a championship in years. Neither have other major cities. At its peak, RPS tournament ran at a loss, even with corporate sponsorship. Also, fans are fickle, they’ve deserted RPS for trendier sports such as hopscotch and curling. So, no more RPS. Life is hard.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., Travel Advisor

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Fun Festivals – Wife Carrying Championships

 

The best way to carry the wife

Ronkainen, a legendary Finnish robber of the 1700s, had would-be gang members carry a heavy woman over an obstacle course to prove their strength. The annual wife-carrying championships in Sonkajaarvi, Finland derive from this test. Wife carrying is not an Olympic sport. However, synchronized swimming is.

Couples race around a track well stocked with obstacles such as logs and a deep pool. At one time, the woman in the event had to be the man’s wife, but neighboring women are allowed. The designated wife must weigh 49 kilograms or 108 pounds. You might think a good wife for this race would be as tiny as possible. But no, the winners earn the wife’s weight in beer. The wife must also be at least seventeen-years old. The entry fee as press time was 50 Euros.

Olympians and marathon runners compete alongside, amateurs, and strange couples on their honeymoons. This seems unfair, but in some respects, the Wife Carrying Championship remains a wide-open sport. And oh my gosh, in addition to the regular race, there is a relay race as well. Root heartily for you favorite team.

Add in the karaoke events, you’ll want to return time and time again. And not just to Finland. National championships exist in America, Britain, Germany, India, Hong Kong, and Australia. Surely, there must be a wife-carrying race near you.

Oh no, the 2021 championship was cancelled due to the Covid pandemic. Middle of next summer, then.

See you there

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel guru

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Ant Nest Sitting

Finland hosts Ant Nest Sitting Competitions. Athletes–whom am I kidding?–sit on an ant hill for as long as they can stand the ant bites. This competition is held all over the country during the summer months. It truly helps to have a high threshold for pain or an ass harder than bronze. Okay, I find this competition to be weird, but there are those who love it.

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Accordion Extravaganza!

 

Next year, sir, next year

Clear your musical palate by attending the Accordion Extravaganza! in Edmonton, Alberta. Pop in on all sorts of concerts, workshops, dances, and competitions, all featuring the accordion. Accordion lovers will melt in ecstasy here.

Oh no, the extravaganza has been put on indefinite hold because of Covid-19 restrictions. While I applaud the organizers’ concern for our safety, I think our world has just gotten a little grayer. I know of least one other accordion festival being canceled. I’m aware, though, of an online accordion celebration. I’m happy for that, but really there’s nothing really like enjoying an according in person.

Here’s to the Accordion Extravaganza! being held next year!

 

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

 

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Things I Want in a Cell Phone

All it did was work

I just want my cell phone to work. I want it to work every time. I don’t care for the fancy gizmos the manufacturers insist on adding to each new version of their phones. Every time they improve their product, the phone becomes more and more likely to freeze, breakdown, and bust completely. I call such destructive improvement “Death by Enhancement.” I would be  happy beyond measure, if some company manufactured a simple, reliable cell phone. I shall hold my breath until this happens.

Things I Want in a Cell Phone.

1*) It makes phone calls only when I want.

2*) It never, ever, ever, by itself, turns off the ringer volume down to zero and vibrate only. I don’t care if my cell phone lowers the ringtone level to zero when it bumps against my leg when I carry it in my pants pocket. The cell phone should be designed so that cannot happen.

I definitely do not want the cell phone to turn off the ringtone by itself or activates the do not disturb feature all by itself. What the hell? This has happened to me. This has happened to others, especially lately. I’ve missed important calls because of all of this.

3) The icons on the phone always work when pressed.

4) Texting is easy. This is mostly the case with phones.

5) I don’t want to be blamed for pressing the wrong button, or icon, accidently. The cell phone should be designed against this.

6*) I doesn’t produce random ringtones at 3 am. I suppose the manufacture try to make up for the all the muted calls during the day.

7) Easy to use GPS. This is usually true for cell phones.

* Times where the old rotary phones outperformed the modern cell phone. Heck, instances where my grandmothers’ phone from over a century ago did better.

Well, this is my dream. More power to those who aren’t bothered by any of this.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Saidaiji Eyo Naked Man Festival

If you happen to be in Japan on the third Saturday of February, you might wish to see the Naked Man Festival. The best one is reportedly held in Okayama, although how they decided this is difficult to measure. The men, clad only in loincloths race toward Saldaiji Temple to collect lucky sticks. I can just see a naked man saying, “Honestly officer, I’m not fleeing an enraged husband. I’m participating in the Naked Man Festival.” The officer will roll his eyes. “Like I haven’t heard that one before.”

Participants need to register in advance with Saldaiji temple and buy a loincloth. It’s February. You will be cold. Then you run around the temple for two hours and through a fountain of frigid water. This purifies your body and soul. Fully purified, the race becomes competitive. Indeed, the event has become quite a team sport with many teams sponsored by local businesses. The goal is to catch one of two wooden sticks, shingi, thrown into the racers midst by a temple priest. Catching a shingi confers good fortune for a entire year.

Spectators vie for 100 lucky items thrown in the crowd. These items aren’t as lucky as the shingi, but you don’t have to strip nearly naked and run through a fountain of icy water either.

Amazingly enough, there’s a more subdued version of this for the local children. This strengthens the bonds between residents.

Tourists can shop at the excitingly named street of Go Fuku Dori.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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Fun Festivals – Nanaimo Marine Festival and Bathtub Races

 

Future contestant in training

The Nanaimo Marine Festive is held every year in Nanaimo, Canada near the end of July. So we missed it again. Bummer. But boy, we will sure be ready for next year. As always, there will be amazing firework displays, decorations, and food everywhere. Arts and crafts stalls will dot the landscape, as well an entertainment stage, and a children’s tent. Visit the farmers’ markets, and do other stuff.

Let’s face it the highlight of this festival is, and will always, be the stupendous bathtub race. It’s known appropriately enough as the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race. The race crosses the 36-mile Strait of Georgia. Take that, marathoners. Bathtubs for the event run about $3,000. Each bathtub gets an 8-horsepower motor. This race has been held now for about fifty years and is overseen by the Royal Nanaimo Bathtub Society, as well an exciting event like this should be.

Just remember:

1) Bathtub race
2) 36 miles
3) Outboard motor
4) July

See you then.

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., travel advisor

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

 

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Fun Festivals – Elvis Impersonator Festival in Collingwood, Ontario

Perhaps the best Elvis impersonator festival in the world occurs in the summer at the Collingwood Elvis festival which thank goodness, is held in Collingwood, Ontario. It’s usually held the last weekend in July. Dang! That’s only two days from now. I don’t now if there will Covid restrictions. Sorry, there’s only so much the King can do.

This festival draws a variety of people . . . Oh heck, no it doesn’t. Only lovers of Elvis’ music will go. Oh, and Elvis impersonators. Expect to see lots and lots of Elvis impersonators. This is a good thing, however, if you love Elvis’s music and if you don’t love his songs, then why are you attending an Elvis festival?

And eat the food the King ate. See how many fried banana and peanut butter sandwiches you can devour during the festivities. Take a break and go to the nearby beach. With your Elvis batteries recharged, come back and see how many Elvises you can spot. Will he be wearing a leather jacket or a white jumpsuit? Will you see him by a goat? Will you see him on a boat? Will you see him in the park? Will you see him in the dark? Will you see him, oh so fair? Will you see him everywhere? Yes.

Elvis impersonators should note that applications are taken on a first come, first served basis. Also, don’t wear sequins. The judges know the King never wore sequins. So you will be marked down. Your so scored will be lowered enough that you’ll have no chance of winning the impersonation contest. You will return home, a broken man. Come to think of it, I don’t if a woman has ever competed. I imagine there’s been female Elvises, but I don’t know if they’ve competed here. If you do go to Collingwood to see the Kings, please let me know. At any rate there are four competitions: Canadian professional, Canadian nonprofessional, international nonprofessional and international professional.

The rest of us should put on our blue suede shoes and rock on at the Awesome Street Dance. Conclude your dancing with the midnight vigil for Elvis. Then get up in time for the Hunka Hunka Pancake Breakfast by the town hall. Bring your King size appetite. And Hell or high water won’t keep the true Elvis devotee from attending the Classic Automobile , Viper and Corvette Elvis Parade. Scads of impersonators will swarm in the cars and around them, swiveling their hips and singing away.

Get tickets well in advance for An Evening of Elvis Champions Past entertainers. You’ve spent a lot of money getting here, spending money on food, and souvenir. You deserve the best impersonators.

– Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D.

My cookbook, Following Good Food Around the World, with its 180 wonderful recipes, my newest novel, Do Lutheran Hunks Eat Mushrooms, a hilarious apocalyptic thriller, and all my other books, are available on amazon.com.

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