diamond geezer

 Friday, June 19, 2009

There's a lot of stuff going on in London this weekend. It's like all the organisers sat down at Christmas and thought "When's the optimum weekend of the summer? Must be the weekend with the longest day. Let's time our event for then, the weather's bound to be great." And the summer solstice flicks round just after dawn this Sunday, so there's an event pile-up either side. To help you to pick carefully, here are 20 highlights in dg's midsummer events guide.

Saturday only
» Bank of England Open Door: Twice a year the Old Lady throws open her doors for a half-hour interior tour. See the Governor's Office, and the room where they decide mortgage rates, and explore the museum afterwards. The queues won't be as bad as for Open House Weekend in September, but better arrive early anyway (part of the City of London Festival, which kicks off today)
» Henry VIII's Tudor River Pageant: Watch 500-year-old Hal ride up the Thames from the Tower [10am] to Hampton Court [3pm] (approx flotilla timings here), then join his Coronation Knees-up within the royal palace (admission £18) (feasting continues Sunday)
» The Big Event (& Tea Dance): celebrations, processions and carnivality to mark the reopening of renovated Camberwell Park [2pm-7pm] (includes "mass ukulele jam")
» Tottenham Carnival: Parade [11am] then festivities [from noon] in Bruce Castle Park
» Proactive Festival: Interactive sports and cycling round the Emirates Stadium [noon-6pm] (bring an under-stimulated child)
» Croxley Green Revels: A Metro-land tradition that stretches back to 1952, as immortalised by Betjeman (I've been, several times)

Saturday and Sunday
» Paradise Gardens: annual arty pleasure garden in Victoria Park, featuring circus big top, tea dances, a shed-sized nightclub, live music, Carter's Steam Fair, a village fete, Pearly Queens, street theatre, sideshows, beer and the Ken Fox Wall of Death (always delightfully diverse) (2007 report)
» Street Pianos: A plot to place tinkly instruments on street corners. The 15 City of London pianos should be in place this weekend, with 15 more appearing a bit further out next week (but not much further out)
Story of London» Story of London lectures: Two solid days of historical London lectures, at King's Place (the lectures cost £9.50 each, or £60 for all 12, which is a bit steep I reckon)
» Hendon Pageant: Remembering 1944 at the RAF Museum, with all sorts of re-enactments and historic vehicles (try to arrive via wartime-bedecked Colindale tube station) (& there's a Battle of Britain flypast at ten to four on Sunday afternoon)
» A Grand Victorian Fayre: Polo, pig-sticking, soldiers and dance, in the grounds of Kenwood House [11:30am-4pm]
» King Henry's Tudor Joust: More Coronation+500 festivities, this time with knights on horseback, in the grounds of Eltham Palace (admission £12)
» Waterloo Weekend: English Heritage are recreating Wellington's famous battle with vegetables, at Apsley House, as well as doing some more normal historical stuff (11am-5pm) (admission £7)
» Bow Arts Trust Open Studios: My local artist collective invites you to see their warren-like workspace [1pm-5pm]
» Taste of London: Gourmet foodie nibbles in Regent's Park (at a price)

Sunday only
» Exhibition Road Music Day: Celebrate European Music Day with live performance in the middle of the street alongside the museums, and maybe join in a bit [from 10am]
» Enfield Festival of Cycling: Meet Dr Bike, and get cycling [11am-5pm]
» A Step in Time: Living History drop-in weekend at the recently-restored Valentine's Mansion [11am-4pm]
» Gladstonbury Live Music Festival: That's free entertainment in Gladstone Park, Dollis Hill, not the big tentfest in Somerset [1pm-7pm] (photos from last year)

next week
» Greenwich+Docklands International Festival: Spectacular arty marvellousness (do go and see something amazing) (Thu 25 - Sun 28 June)

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