Canada Day 2009

July 4, 2009 at 8:59 am | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | Leave a comment
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Canada Day: London edition was a celebration of all things Canadian. Whether a result of the economic downturn or green algae in the fountains there seemed to be fewer people than last year but for my money that benefited the event.

For one I could walk fairly easily around the Square and the for the other accessing stalls (for food, drink or travel and work information) was significantly easier.

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But onto the event.

Trafalgar was awash with red and white with maple leaves covering bodies and clothes. The crowd – even with alcohol – was friendly and relaxed. Events were hosted on both the main stage and a central court. While I was attending there was a hockey game between Oxford and Cambridge, with the former winning.

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Next year if you can make it you should try and stop by to look while grabbing a burger, sit on the steps and enjoy the atmosphere.

More photos at Flickr.

Canada Day 2008

August 3, 2008 at 9:38 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Random, UK | 1 Comment
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At the beginning of July (Tuesday 1st July to be exact) and if you were in the vicinity of Trafalgar Square or the Maple Leaf Bar in Covent Garden you would have seen a throng of red and white as Canadians celebrated their national day.

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Dominating the Square was a stage. The night before it featured some bigger acts at a free concert but tonight the line up seemed to be more folksy.

I stopped by briefly and was surprised by the number of people – certainly more than at the Korean festival from a few weeks ago. There were long queues at the food and beverage stalls so I skipped them but the burgers did smell delicious.

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On one side of the square were a few stalls showcasing tourism (mainly Alberta as the key sponsor) and food (like cookies and breads). The upper level had a long line of information booths. At least that’s what I think they were because by 6 they’d packed up. Montreal had a tent, which one presenter pointed out, was set apart all by itself. Even on Canada Day everyone can’t get along.

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After my lap of the square I made my way home but it definitely looked as though the Canadians and their supporters were having a good time.

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Korea in Trafalgar: Dano Festival

June 15, 2008 at 7:01 pm | Posted in General, London, Out and About, Tourism, Travel, UK | 1 Comment
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On the 8th June Trafalgar Square featured stalls and cultural displays as part of the Korean Summer Festival – Dano. Apparently, to quote the pamphlet they were handing out “In Korea, people celebrate Dano when Yang energy is thought to be at its highest.” Unfortunately I seem to have misplaced my camera so there’ll be no photos of the event.

The festival ran for about 5 hours with various cultural and music events on the main stage. Around the edge of the lower forecourt were food stalls (including from far afield Surrey), fan making (traditional festival activity) and tourism information.

In all honesty, the main reason I wanted to come was for the food. In the end there weren’t that many stalls – maybe half a dozen – all with very similar menus. I opted for simple Yakitori (meat skewers) to start and Tim went for chicken and rice. Mine was £3 for 3 and his was £6. As mine had been sitting out it was rather tepid and only average quality. I don’t know about the quality of Tim’s meal but it looked like a large enough portion and for six pounds it ought to be. Given that lacklustre start I didn’t go back for another dish.

Instead we settled down on the steps to watch Noridan. A group of male and female drummers who all looked upbeat throughout a physically intense performance. The act consisted of a bicycle like contraption fitted out with percussion and drums for the artists to pound away at. Occasionally they would break away from the main machine and pick up personal drums to beat on. Fun and energetic.

After Noridan we opted to leave and say goodbye to the Korean Festival. All in all there wasn’t much to do but it was a good diversion before heading further into the city. I imagine this is simply indicative of the population of Koreans in the city or that the weather was particularly good so people were off to the parks and beaches (oh fine pubs) instead.

If the festival is back next year I would only encourage you to go if you have something else to do in the area.

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