IrelandDublin has been named this year’s city of science, and what better event to explore the science of fun than at the annual St. Patrick’s Festival?

The program includes traditional Irish céilís, open-air musical performances, an international street-arts fair, walking tours and a concert in the National Concert Hall with flutist Sir James Galway.

The highlight of the festival, the St. Patrick’s Day parade, hits the streets at noon Saturday with the theme “How? What? Why?” and celebrates the wonder of science with colorful street theater troupes, artists, dancers and marching bands. Find more details at

BelgiumWith 40 floats, 3 tons of confetti and 440 pounds of bonbons, this year’s parade for the Carnival of the Bears on Sunday in Andenne promises to be a real party.

The annual procession is the highlight of the carnival, which is based on the legend of the eighth-century ruler Charles Martel (whose grandson was Charlemagne). The story goes that as a young man, Martel used a hammer to kill a bear that was terrorizing the town.

Later, the bear, not Martel, had the honor of becoming the town’s symbol, which presented yet another good reason for an annual celebration. The procession kicks off at 2 p.m. led by the giant bears Fonzi and Martin II and followed by colorful floats, dancing bears, cotillions, bands and other street entertainment. The day ends with the traditional tossing of stuffed bears from the town hall balcony. Andenne’s website is, with an English option.

GermanyTeddy bears are in the spotlight of Wiesbaden’s Rhein-Main Hallen this weekend during the annual Teddy Bear World international trade show for Teddy bears and Steiff animals. The show will have 400 exhibitors offering workshops and selling original handmade bears, factory bears, bear accessories, and bear make-it-yourself kits and materials. The German company Steiff, famous for its quality plush animals with buttons in the ears, is back again with a large stand selling exclusive bears, novelties and new mohair fabrics from the Steiff Schulte weaving mill. The show is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. A day ticket costs 7 euros for adults, free for children up to 10 years. A two-day ticket is 12 euros. For more, go to, in German.

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