diamond geezer

 Saturday, May 01, 2010

Wahey, it's another bank holiday weekend. But what to do and where to go, especially if April's belated showers insist on interrupting your every move. Here's my list of mostly-free suggestions...

Saturday 1 May
Orbit Consultation event: There's one more day to have your say about the Olympic Park's new red-coiled viewing tower. The event's at the ViewTube on the Greenway between 10 and 3. Don't come expecting a detailed exhibition - there are only five shiny boards to read (and they can't spell 'Gherkin'). But do come if you want to talk (in depth) to some of the people actually responsible for the nitty-gritty of the project.
Jack In The Green: A garlanded man will be paraded around the streets of Southwark and the City to celebrate May Day - looks like a pagan excuse for a pub crawl to me. Ian has all the details, and photos of last year's procession. A larger version of the event plays out in Hastings on Monday.
Gumball 3000: If you like cars and bling, you may want to wave off some C-list American celebs in pimped-up wheels from Pall Mall this afternoon. Destination New York, seven days later (and yes, part of the rally is by plane).
March and Rally: It being May Day, there's a workers' rally kicking off on Clerkenwell Green at noon and marching to Trafalgar Square [Benn, Livingstone, usual suspects]

Sunday 2 May
Vaisakhi: One of the religious festivals in Trafalgar Square that Boris hasn't scrapped yet. This shindig celebrates the Sikh New Year [... which was more than a fortnight ago, but why let actual dates get in the way of a booking?]
Erm?: No, really, there's nothing else on. It's rubbish, London, isn't it?

Monday 3 May
Elephant Parade: More than 250 brightly painted life-size elephants arrive on London's streets today (much like those fibreglass cows did back in 2002). Then they stay until July (or until everybody's photographed all of them). There's no information yet on precisely where they'll be, but watch for a map on the website on Monday.
Great London Garden Trail: Poke around ten beautifully-designed London gardens, from Ealing to Blackheath and Wimbledon to Bow.
Ride the East London line: It's still closed at weekends, but there'll be a special bank holiday service on Monday. Bring your anorak, sandwiches and flask of weak lemon drink.

Across the weekend
Canalway Cavalcade: The annual narrowboat festival at Little Venice. It's usually very busy, and very colourful, and brings a welcome slice of watery heritage to the heart of London [offical brochure]
Magnificent Maps: The British Library's splendid new exhibition, showcasing large historic maps from the UK and around the world. Open until September, so no rush.
Reveal: This is a one-off Arts Festival based across the "North of King's Cross area. I've not yet managed to persuade myself it's worth visiting. [Sat/Sun]
Patchwork Social: If you're a fabric squares kind of person, then the V&A would appreciate you adding to their quilted handiwork.
Haven't you heard, there's an election on?: Forget fripperies like enjoying yourself this weekend. Apparently there are millions of electors out there who are still intent on casting their votes for completely the wrong parties. Go persuade them otherwise!


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