August in London
London has a variety of special events for locals and visitors coming up. Among them:
• The Underage Festival on Aug. 2 will host four stages of live music with food and market stalls but no alcohol or adults. The fest, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Victoria Park, is only for those between the ages of 14 and 18. Tickets cost 26.50 pounds (about $44). Find details, including a list of performing bands, atwww.underagefestivals.com.
• "Walking with Dinosaurs." A team of artists and technicians has created 15 life-size dinosaurs, including a 39-foot Tyrannosaurus rex, that move about and interact with one another while a narrator talks about them. The presentation is based on the six-part BBC program of the same name. The touring show will be at the O2 Arena Aug. 5 to 9 and at Wembly Arena Aug. 26 to 31. Tickets cost 20 to 35 pounds. Get more details at www.dinosaurlive.com.
• Great British Beer Festival, Aug. 4 to 8. Visitors can sample about 450 ales, fruit beers, stouts, bitters and some international real lagers as well as cider. There also will be traditional pub games, live music, pub snacks and organized beer tastings. Tickets cost 10 pounds per day. More details can be found at http://gbbf.camra.org.uk/home.
• Parliament tours. From Aug. 3 to Oct. 3, members of the House of Parliament take their vacations and the building is open for a 75-minute, behind-the-scenes tour of the site, which includes the Commons and Lords debating chambers and the Queen’s Robing Room. Tickets are sold on the day of the tour for 11.50 pounds (reservations advised). See details at www.parliament.uk/visiting/visitingandtours/summeropening.cfm.
Blue Rider exhibition
German expressionist movement The Blue Rider, established in 1911, was a school of art that believed colors, shapes and forms had equivalent relationships with sound and music. The movement was a forerunner of modern art, and its followers included Wassily Kandinsky, Franz Marc, Pablo Picasso and Henri Rousseau.
A collection of 80 of its most-famous works will show until Oct. 11 in Baden-Baden’s Museum Frieder Burda. They include Marc’s "Blaues Pferd I"; August Mackes’ "Hutladen"; Alexej von Jawlensky’s "Bildnis des Tänzers Alexander Sacharoff"; and Gabriele Münters’ "Jawlensky und Werefkin."
The exhibit is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and costs 3 euros for adults. Children up to 10 years old get in free.
T∅nder folk festival
Tickets are now on sale for the annual folk festival in T∅nder, Denmark, a favorite event among European folkies. It will run Aug. 27 to 30. Among those on this year’s program are Aly Bain and Phil Cunningham, Runrig, Dick Gaughan and Brian McNeill from Scotland; bagpiper Carlos Núñez from Spain; Arlo Guthrie, Béla Fleck, Eileen Ivers and the Pine Leaf Boys from the States; and Máirtín O’Connor and Four Men and a Dog from Ireland.
Tickets cost between 100 to 375 Danish kroner (about $18 to $70). Find details at www.tf.dk.
Best betsENGLAND: For some heart-stopping competition, head to Congham’s annual snail races, which begin at 2 p.m. Saturday. The organizer of the event claims that "Congham is to snail racing what Newmarket is to horse racing," which means it is a top-notch event not to be missed.
The races have attracted world attention, if not for the excitement, then for their eccentricity. And even if you’re not interested in watching hundreds of mollusks "rushing" to the finish line on a 13-inch circular track, you can still kick back and enjoy a traditional English church charity event.
For photos of last year’s winner and race, and more details about this year’s, go to www.snailracing.net.
GERMANY: An annual beer fair featuring 1,000 beers from 75 countries takes over Mainz’s Town Hall square and the banks of the Main River beginning Friday and continuing through the weekend.
This year sees the introduction of several new brews, including Mongozo, an African recipe with a coconut and mango flavor. Bottles of exotic beers will be offered by the House of 131 Beers along with traditional favorites. Those who want to taste a beer before buying can purchase a .1-liter tasting glass for 2 euros and then use it at designated stands for a 1.50-euro sample. (There are a limited of number of glasses sold per day.) Entertainment, food and beer souvenirs make up the rest of the program.
The fair is open 3 p.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday and noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Entry is free.
ITALY: In 1576 as a plague raged in the city of Venice, the republic’s senate vowed to build a temple on Guidecca Island in honor of Christ the Redeemer and to hold a procession there every year on the third Sunday in July. The promise is kept today and this weekend the city celebrates the Redentore.
During the day, the faithful can attend services in the Redentore basilica by crossing a 1,000-foot floating bridge across the Giudecca Canal. At night, viewers on the shore and those on decorated boats moored in St. Mark’s basin and the canal can watch a colorful fireworks show starting about 11:30 p.m.
More details are available on the Venice Tourist Board Web site, www.turismovenezia.it/eng.