Best Bets: For weekend of July 30-Aug. 1
DENMARK: Friday through Sunday, up to 600 Vikings will descend upon Moesgård Beach, about six miles south of Aarhus, for the annual Viking Moot, one of the oldest recorded Viking markets in the world.
The event is always held on the nearest date to July 29, the feast day of St. Olaf. Visitors can browse market stalls, test their archery skills and watch daily re-enactments of battles by horseman on Icelandic ponies at noon and 3 p.m.
The festival is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; admission is free.
Get details at www.moesmus.dk by clicking on “Activities” on the home page. There is an English-language version.
ENGLAND: Taste the best of British ales, ciders and perries (fermented pear juice), as well as the top international brews, at the Great British Beer Festival, Aug. 3-7 in London’s Earls Court. More than 450 beers will be offered at what claims to be the “biggest pub in the world.”
On the British side, the festival focuses on both the country’s smallest microbreweries and its best-known brands, while international beers are offered at the Bières Sans Frontières bars, including the Belgian and Dutch bar, the German and Czech bar and the U.S.A. and Rest of the World Bar.
Also on the program are a brewery horse parade on opening day, beer tastings, Girls’ Guide Beer Tour, entertainment and auctions. A family room is open noon to 9 p.m. for those younger than 18.
The festival is open 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, noon to 10:30 Wednesday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. General admission is 10 pounds, with reduced rates for groups and members of the Campaign for Real Ale. Find more details at http://gbbf.camra.org.uk.
• It’s Navy Days at Portsmouth’s Naval Base on Saturday through Monday, an event that lets visitors board the best of the Royal Navy ships. They include two new Type 45 air defense destroyers (the first time opened to the public), an aviation and casualty receiving ship, two Type 23 frigates, a Type 24 frigate, a large mine countermeasures ship and a fishery protection vessel.
Also on the program are air displays, a Royal Marines band, air ambulance, parachutes and diving displays.
Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost 19.50 pounds (about $30) for adults; children up to age 15 get in free. The official festival website is www.navydaysuk.co.uk.
FRANCE: Take a plunge into the sea at the annual flower parades Aug. 7 in Selestat. More than 500,000 dahlias are used to create the divers, whales, flying fish, octopuses, sea horses, lobsters and reptiles that decorate the colorful floats.
Events before the parade include a wine fair, pirate band parade, face painting, retro car parade and jazz music. The early parade begins at 6 p.m. The evening parade, accompanied by music and a light show, begins at 10 p.m. and is followed by fireworks and a late-night concert. For details, go to www.corso-selestat.fr (in French).
GERMANY: The Bavarian city of Kulmbach opens its 2010 Bierfest when the mayor taps the first keg on Saturday. The Kulmbach Brewery will sell three beers specially brewed for the festival — the malty Kulmbach, bitter EKU and “softer” Mönchshof — plus a lighter Kapuziner Weissbier. Vouchers will be sold at the brewery for both beer and food: For 6.70 euros, you can buy a liter of one of the festival brews or two half-liters of the Kapuziner. Regional musicians and Oktoberfest-style bands help create the beer-drinking atmosphere.
The fest continues through Aug. 8. Find more details at www.kulmbacher.de/de/bierwoche (in German).
LUXEMBOURG: Step back to medieval days Saturday through Aug. 8 during the annual historical festival in the Vianden Castle, which showcases some of the best architecture from the Romanesque and Gothic periods.
On the grounds, you’ll find troubadours and minstrels, jugglers, crossbow displays, dancing, medieval games, battles, flag throwers and falconers. A market with 60 crafts workers will demonstrate crafts and sell medieval goods.
The event is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily; admission is 7.50 euros for adults, 2 euros for ages 2 to 12 and free for children up to age 2.
More details, in English, at www.castle-vianden.lu.