I don’t think there is any town more proud of its May Day than Knutsford, and rightly so. It has been a tradition in the town since 1864 when the Vicar of Knutsford at the time, Rev. Robert Clowes set it up. The ‘Royal’ part came about 23 years later when the title was bestowed upon it by the Prince and Princess of Wales, TRH Edward and Alexandra, who would become King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra further down the line. They visited the celebrations in 1887 which was the Golden Jubilee year of Edward’s mother and one of England’s most well-known monarchs, Queen Victoria.
With a long-standing history in the area, Lowther Show has become a staple in the Cumbrian events calendar. The show was originally set up as a three-day horse carriage driving trial in the 1970s, and was often publicised as a favourite sporting event of HRH the Duke of Edinburgh. After a brief pause in proceedings in 2010, the show was back a few years later.
In my last post, I wrote about the first evening of Athletics at the 2017 IAAF World Championships. It was a great night, and if you haven’t caught up yet, you can just hop back a post.
Although the tickets to get into the London Stadium to watch the Athletics did cost money, there were some events, such as the Men’s Marathon that were run on the streets of London and free to watch. Well… most of it, I think. There may have been ‘paying’ areas near to the start and finish areas at Tower Bridge, but I don’t know that for certain, so don’t quote me on that! As it was though, we were in a free-to-watch area along the Embankment, right opposite Cleopatra’s needle.
Every two years, the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) holds the World Championships, a nine-day global event bringing together around 1,800 athletes from about 200 countries. This time round, it was London’s turn to host the Championships, and really our whole trip was based around this event, having bought the tickets many months in advance.
I was so lucky that my last weekend in France coincided with the arrival of the Tour into Paris. The race has been finishing on the world-famous Champs-Élysées for the past 42 years, and it really is quite a spectacle! What I didn’t realise though, not being a huge watcher of cycling, is that there’s a huge advertising parade, or ‘caravan’ as it’s apparently called, which precedes the actual cycling. I was also surprised with a flypast which sported the typical red, white, and blue contrails. Having said that, the sky was so overcast that the bright white became a murky grey.
The ‘14 juillet‘, or ‘Bastille Day’ to the non-French, is the national day of celebration in France, and nowhere does it quite like Paris! The Champs-Élysées hosts the oldest, and largest, military parade in Europe, so this year I went along to watch!
Yesterday, when I was out and about in Paris, I stumbled upon this amazing parade on the Champs-Élysées. As it turns out, it was the Carnaval Tropical de Paris, which this time round, was held along the length of Paris’ most famous street.
This Caribbean festival takes place on the first weekend in July, which I didn’t know, and it’s incredible! Around the Arc de Triomphe, there were a handful of Caribbean street food stalls which smelled amazing, and the music could be heard miles away.
Having done a bit of research in the wake of this parade, it turns out there’s over 4000 dancers who come from a variety of different groups to showcase their country and heritage. There’s a mixture of groups from France, and some more long haul, from the Martinique, Reunion Island, and Guadeloupe, to name a few.
Some other countries are allowed to participate, such as Colombia, and Indonesia. Each group has their own float which they decorate in their own unique way to represent the culture. I absolutely loved the Colombian float, which was decorated with hundreds of pieces of fabric, tied on the van.
I’m annoyed with myself for not remembering the name of the group that I saw just before leaving, because they were my favourite hands-down. They all wore masks, which did seem to frighten a little boy who was stood in front of me, but the music was incredible.
I’ve uploaded all of my photos from the day to Flickr, so head on over to see more!
I’ve had a pretty busy weekend this week, but Saturday was definitely the highlight! From 19th – 21st May, the Domaine de Chantilly hosted its annual plant fair, which consistently brings hundreds of exhibitors to this amazing venue.
Today, Connie and I, to celebrate Europe day, took a trip to the Hôtel de Ville in Paris. Europe Day was actually on the 9th May, but the weekends are always better times for these sort of things. The city had organised a fête outside the Hôtel with loads of activities, talks, and, most importantly, food based on/from the countries of the European Union.