Making the most of the August Bank Holiday

August 23, 2013 by The Co-operative Food summer-drinks-bank-holiday

This weekend is the last bank holiday for quite a while so let’s make the most of it.

Up and down Britain there are all sorts of fairs, festivals and community events, and with a good chance of sunshine the barbecue smells will be drifting across the land.

We don’t have as many bank holidays as most European countries, although ours do get carried over if they fall on a weekend, so we’re not too hard done by. The August bank holiday was introduced in 1965, and for a few years the government decreed when it would be held each year. I bet that made planning ahead a bit of a pain. The day was fixed as the last Monday in August in 1971, although in Scotland it’s held on the first Monday in August.

Across the country you’ll find a variety of events, and they’ll all be praying for sunshine. Here are just a few to whet your appetite…

Notting Hill Carnival 25 & 26 August: The famous carnival is almost certainly the biggest and brightest bank holiday event in Britain. Since 1966 the carnival has grown and grown and is now a truly international attraction that’s as much about the food, atmosphere and parties as the amazingly colourful and noisy processions. Everyone should try it once at least. Most will love it and few can fail to be impressed with Carnival.

Manchester Pride 23 – 26 August: Manchester’s Pride is close to our hearts being both The Co-operative’s home town, and indeed because we sponsor what’s billed as one of Britain’s biggest parties. It’s not just about the parades though, this year there’s a whole new arena, with DJ sets, acts and more that’ll leave the revellers wishing the weekend would never end.

Reading and Leeds Festivals 23 – 25 August: The brilliant concept of a huge rock festival in two cities over 200 miles apart, with around 200 acts performing, sharing the same bill. Tickets are still available for Leeds. Just brace yourself for the camping experience! Although you can buy day tickets if the tented crush is all a bit much.

The Dartmouth Regatta 29 – 31 August: A few days after the bank holiday, but worth a mention too. The Dartmouth Regatta is a major festival of the sea, with classic and modern craft, boat races, water polo, as well as air displays from the Royal Navy, the Red Arrows and others. It’s quite a spectacle and the whole town gets involved.

The Newlyn Fish Festival 26 August: Near where I grew up in west Cornwall, there’ll be thousands of people flocking to the quays at Newlyn for the annual fish festival. Originally set up to raise funds for the Seaman’s Mission, the festival has gone from strength to strength. It hosts many events including gig racing, fish auctions, cooking demonstrations, often by celebrity chefs, and there’s always amazing food to be sampled too.

Your very own garden party: If you’ve left the planning late, or you just want a quiet time at home then how about having your own little garden party? Fire up the barbecue for friends and family and take advantage of some of the great deals at The Co-operative.

The big bank holiday weekend. Enjoy it as you want it, at a big national event, something local, or just taking it easy at home.

Casey’s Kitchen

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