Posts Tagged With: fun festivals

Fun Festivals – Outhouse Races and More

On a roll

How many times have you had to run to the toilet? How many times has the toilet sped toward you? None. But it gets you thinking. Wouldn’t it be nice if the scenery would change while you’re doing your business? Of course, it would. Look at the immense popularity of dinner trains or  cruises. People on these touristy getaways love to see the great outdoors slowly move by as they eat.

People on toilets are no different. They’d dearly love to see the outdoors move while they move their insides. Let’s face it, this isn’t going to happen with our indoor toilets. Doing so would require extensive structural damage to our home.

But it is possible with outhouses. Simply place the half-moon shed on runners or skis, get something to do the pulling, and Bob’s your uncle. Poetry in motion.

Why not make mobile outhouses fun and competitive?

You can at the Outhouse Races held during the Fur Rondy Festival in Anchorage, Alaska. Sure there are other outhouse races, but Rondy’s is the biggest. Go big or go home.

Would-be participants should know the rules. You need a port-a-potty. You need to put the pooper on a pair of skis. The port-a-potty must be structurally sound. It’s really no fun at all and most embarrassing to be in a exploding or collapsing crapper. Registration costs $100 per team.

Then decide if you wish to enter in the traditional or unlimited divisions. Are you an old-school race pooper or are you a visionary?

Go there. Have fun.

You got to move it, move it.

Register by February 22 to compete in this year’s race. Um no, unless you have a time machine. And if you really had a time machine, would you really use it to compete in an outhouse race? The bright side is, of course, that you have about 354 days to register for next year’s race. Mark the calendar. Don’t be caught with your pants down.

But wait, there’s more! Other events include:

Fur Rendezvous Royal Tea & Coronation
Alaska State Snow Sculpture Competition – (Carving)
ALL Alaska Native Fur Rondy Basketball Tournament
Sled Dogs Downtown
Frostbite Foot Race Bib Pickup
Curling Bonspiel
Rondy World Championship Sled Dog Races
Carnival
Snowshoe Softball
Frostbite Footrace and Costume Fun Run 8am
Ice Bowling
Grand Parade
Blanket Toss
Fireworks Extravaganza Party, Tickets were limited, but you missed it anyway.
World Championship Outdoor Hockey Tournament
Blizzard Bash Concert
Cornhole Ice Breaker Tourney
Family Skate / Skate with the Critters
Running of the Reindeer

 

Paul De Lancey, The Comic Chef, Ph.D., and 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 – International Festival of Animated Objects

Sluggish after overindulging with Canada’s poutine? It’s delicious, who could not? Then have someone take you to Calgary, Alberta, International Festival of Animated Objects. Puppet shows and performances with other animated thingys touch on dark, troubling themes. Even though, many of the shows are supposed to be family friendly, it all seems rather ominous.

The Festival of Animated Objects (FAO) supports the arts of puppetry, mask, and animated objects. Live films are right out. The Festival says don’t even try.

The non-profit group Calgary Animated Objects Society (CAOS)- what a cool name – produces Animovies with support from The International Festival of Animated Objects Society. Films are projected onto a grain elevator. A historic one, no less.

Programming includes live performances, screenings, lectures, workshops, and exhibitions for all ages. Don’t forget to see the historic grain elevator.

The event schedule for 2021 is easy to find online. So, it’s easy to see what you missed. The schedule for 2022 is much harder to find. Why? I don’t know. I did find a website, for the event?, listed on one blog, but I had to sign onto the site and I was worried that I might have been committing myself to appear for this year’s festival. A little later, I tried finding that webpage again, but failed. Clearly, you have to want to go to this festival. But if you do, it is certain this is the animated-object festival to go to. See other devoted puppeteers and animated-object film producers. The talent is here. The contacts are here. Immerse yourself in your art and thrive.

 

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 – Steamed Buns On a Bamboo Tower

 

Would you climb a giant bamboo tower for these?

Lovers of bamboo and buns will not want to miss Hong Kong’s Cheung Chau Ben Festival . The festival takes place on or around Buddhas Birthday, near the end of April or May. in Hong Kong. Contestants climb a giant bamboo tower covered in Chinese steamed buns. Um, okay, it’s not entirely clear from that whether the tower is covered in Chinese steamed buns or the climbers are covered in them. Either way, it’s pretty darn exciting. Anyway, buns picked from the top of the bamboo tower or taken on the backs of the contestants to the top are consider luckier than ones at the bottom. People there go vegetarian during this festival. It’s not clear why. Maybe I would too if I had to climb a tall tower with steamed buns all over me.

The festival’s star attraction are the huge bamboo towers covered with handmade buns. Legends says the island was plagued by an epidemic that killed thousands. Resourceful Cheung Chau locals brought in the god Pak Tai and built it a temple. Pak Tai then shooed the plague and evil spirits away.

In this festival, the inhabitants honor Pak Tai with the Bun Grabbing contest. (Naughty, mind your thoughts.) Contests clamber up a 60-foot tower that’s covered with steam buns. Climbers try to grab as many lucky buns as they can in three minutes. Hard to reach buns give extra points. Or you could simply go for the prestigious Full Pockets of Lucky Buns award. This is won by the climber who grabs the most buns in three minutes. There is also a rather exciting team-relay event.

It’s not at all clear to me how grabbing buns of a bamboo tower shows gratitude to a god who stopped a plague or why these buns are lucky. But there you go. The locals love the event. Tourists from all over the globe come to see it. And you should too. So make your flight plans. Book your hotel and by all means see the Bun Grabbing contest. It’s on the last day of the festival.

But there’s more to this festival than grabbing buns. The week-long festivities includes incense, prayers for prosperity and health, and offerings to festival’s god. Pay a respectful visit to Pak Tai’s altars.

Then wander around the grounds and sample the incredible variety of steamed buns sold by the many food vendors. Heavens, those steamed buns are tasty. And be sure to bring home souvenirs of the event.

Don’t get so distracted by the yummy buns that you miss the festival’s spectacular parade. See elaborate lion dances (No, no ravenous, wild lions are used), and marching bands. Be entranced by the martial arts demonstrations. Biff, biff. Don’t miss the “Floating Children” parade where children dress as Chinese deities. They sit on stands so high that they appear to be floating.

But wait, there’s more. See unicorn dances. Does your town have anything like that? No, I didn’t think so.

It’s well worth arriving in Hong Kong the weekend before the festival for the preliminary Bun Carnival. Watch instructions teach you how to climb the Bun Tower. Climb it for fun. Practice on it. If you find you’re good enough, why not enter the event itself? Go for it. Do it for yourself. Do it for me. Do it for all us who aren’t able to attend.

Oh my gosh, this sounds like such a fun festival.

 

– 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 – World Bog Snorkeling Championships

Are you tired of flying halfway across the world only to see the same exotic fish? And then the fish are hard to spot because they’ve been frightened and found hiding places. Why are the fish hiding? Because billions and billions snorkeling enthusiasts have inundated the reef. What two-inch fish wouldn’t be scared off by 200-pound oafs thrashing about my home? I would be too.

Face it, any place to snorkel that is infested by human leviathans is better than any spot with brilliantly colored fish. Where is this place you wonder? I am glad you asked.

Make your way to the World Bog Snokeling Championships in LLanwrtyd, Wales in August. Sure you could snorkel LLanwrtyd’s bog in other months when there would be even fewer people around. But what if you’re bursting with competitive spirit? Then you really must go for the championships. Trust me, they’re still won’t be many fellow snorkelers around. And you can be darned sure they won’t be scaring off any beautiful, tropical fish.

People come from all over the world to race 120-yards through a peat bog. Is it difficult? Dunno. But it is only 120 yards long. Many find the competition to be intense. People root on their favorite snorkelers. They might even bet on it, though not as yet over the internet.

Are there rules? Yes. Are they necessary? Yes. Are they boring? Again yes.

But if you’re an ironman, if you’re a triathlete, you simply must enter in the Bog Snorkeling Championships. It consists of an 8-mile run, a 12-mile Mountain Bike ride, and a 60-yard bog snorkel.
There’s lots of fun for the spectators as well. Graze and quaff your way through the food and drink stands. Work your way to the ale and cider bar. Listen to live music as your kids stampede the bouncy castle.  The festival encourages fancy dress. I have to believe , however, this request applies only to the spectators and not to the bog snorkelers.  Don’t put off making your travel plans. People are already booking hotels and BnBs. Try to get a place with nice, hot showers.
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Gain prestige. Enter the contest. Make your travel plans. Do it now.

– 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 – The International Witches Fair

 

Such fun

Is Halloween your favorite holiday of the year? Did you or your mom spend days making a truly scary costume? Do you want another such day? Each and every year?

Then go to the Witchcraft and the Trasmoz’s Curse Fair. Other towns have their own witch fairs. But do not go to them! Do not accept substitutes. The first and still the best such fair is the one in Trasmoz, Spain. This fair is the one that truly deserves to be called, The International Witches Fair.

This fair takes places every first weekend in July and is just the thing for people who prefer to watch movies about witch burning over roasting marshmallow over an open fire.

This fair is such fun. Watch reenactors capture witches and heretics. Watch the lost souls get tried. Be enthralled by their torture. Be entranced by lovingly recreated witches’s covens. Honestly, is anything near your home that can rival this? I think not.

But wait! There’s more. Listen to the excommunication of the entire town. Puts your “Damn you, (your enemy)” to shame doesn’t it?

Watch as Pope Julius II curses the entire village.

But you can’t see the reenactment of the lifting of the excommunication and cursing. They never happened. The town is still excommunicated and cursed. Can New York City, London, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Tokyo, or Bora Bora can say that? No they can’t, only Trasmoz, Spain.

Wait! There’s more.

The festival sports an authentic medieval market place and medieval camp. There are parades, magic shows, musical shows, and medieval combat. You’ll want to go year after year just to see everything.

But wait! There’s more.

Learn about medieval plants. Perhaps you’ll want to learn how to poison someone. It’s okay, it’s okay, all medieval poisons were organic. Or maybe you’ll want to heal people with medieval medicinal plants. To each his own.

But wait! There’s still more. Absorb the town’s rather exciting history as you wander around.

The history

During the 1100s, the town of Trasmoz  clashed with the nearby Veruela Monastery over firewood and pastures. Such disputes were normally decided by lawsuits or mediation by a higher lord or church official. Such a process proved unsatisfactory to the Monastery’s abbot. He excommunicated the entire town saying that witches and covens were running amok. Excommunication was an unambiguously horrible thing to happen to you in the Middle Ages. However, while bad for the town, excommunication is now an annual economic boon for Trasmoz, a town vying with other village for the tourist Euro.

In 1511, the lord of the town and Abbot Pedro Ximénez de Urrea quarreled. Perhaps the lord would point at the abbot and say, “Look, there goes urea breath.” Who can say? But we do know that the abbott complained to the higher ups. Eventually Pope Julius II cursed the entire town.

Some think the curse came about due to counterfeiting. Local counterfeiters didn’t want visitors poking their noses into this illegal activity. So the law breakers told the abbot stories of wickedness and the rest is history.

The excommunication and curse have never been lifted. Only the pope can do that. It’s something to think about should you ever ponder settling in Trasmoz.

So enjoy the history, the torture, and the food. Go to the International Witches Fair. Make your bookings now. It’s fun for the entire family.

 

– 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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Sex Festival in Finland*

 

FB version*

Get excited at the Kangasniemi’s Kutemajarvi Sex Festival. It’s held in July when 5,000 Kangsniemians go sex mad. See live acts from the biggest adult film stars. Cheer on the nude mud wrestlers. Wonder at the sex-toys exhibits. Be entranced at lectures on sex from prominent sex-and-sexuality theorists. Yes sex, just like all subjects, has both empirical and theoretical aspects. But at Kangasniemi you can investigate both of them. If that doesn’t get a rise out of you, what will?

But why content yourself with being a bystander? Don’t have a thing to wear? Then enter the Aphrodite nude beauty competition.

Go there. There’s a lot to see.

* FB threatened me with all sorts of things if kept the original title and picture

– 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 – Cattle Calling Championship

Can’t speak Finnish, but still love to make yourself heard? Alapitka, Finland, puts on the renowned Cattle Calling Championship. Techniques of the champions are closely guarded secrets. However, successful participants tend to know the names of the cows. Courtesy while chatting with your cow goes a long way to winning the championship.

And you can get good rooms for $35 a night, making Alapitka, Finland a must-see destination for the budget-conscious* traveler.

* = after airfare.

Will she come to your call?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

– 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 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 – 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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