Best Bets: Amsterdam gardens, York Roman fest, Belgian festival
Netherlands“Color in the Canal Gardens” is the theme of this year’s Open Garden Days in Amsterdam. Thirty semi-private canal gardens will be open to the public 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Passes for all three days cost 15 euros and are available from selected gardens. See www.opentuinendagen.nl for more details and a list of participating gardens.
EnglandIt’s been 1,800 years since Roman Emperor Septimius Severus died in Eboracum (today York), after establishing it as the stronghold of the north in Britain. The city is sponsoring a series of events this weekend to mark the anniversary during its annual Roman Festival.
On Saturday, a parade with Roman military re-enactors will march through the city, ending at the statue of Constantine, crowned emperor in York in 306.
Other events include a living history camp, gladiator fights, re-enactments of battles between Romans and Germanic barbarians, period entertainment, a Roman market and children’s events.
See the program at www.yorkromanfestival.co.uk.
BelgiumA procession Sunday highlights of Mons’ annual festival marking its deliverance from 1349 plague. The Ducasse de la Trinite, or Le Doudou, continues through June 22, but many of the main events are this weekend.
They begin with a procession with the relics of St. Waudru, the city’s patron saint. They will be paraded through the streets in an 18th-century golden carriage drawn by white horses and accompanied by costumed women and clerics.
The festival then lightens up with the Lumecon, a re-enactment of the legendary battle between St. George and the dragon, held in the town’s Grand Place. Spectators can join in singing the ancient “Song of the Doudou” and try to grab the ribbons pinned to the fiery beast.
Find details at www.mons.be, or the procession’s website, http://ducassedemons.info; both are in French.