Silly Season: Three Wacky Races This Weekend

The Chap Olympiad (last year)

The Chap Olympiad (last year)

As the World Cup turns into a Game of Thrones style bloodbath, it might be nice to lighten up this weekend with three knockabout events that are impossible to take too seriously. All of them involve fancy dress and arsing around – perfect then for depressed Brazil fans who don’t want to be reminded of the seven-one drubbing their team took last night (oops, sorry). Here in order of ridiculousness:

The Chap Olympiad — Don your tweed and wax the ends of your moustache until you’ve teased it into a perfect ‘Poirot’ then saunter off to Bedford Square to see the tenth anniversary of this refined tradition celebrating “Britain’s sporting ineptitude.” (Fun fact: England stayed in the Word Cup for just 5 days). The Chap Olympiad includes classic events like umbrella jousting, butler baiting and the tug of hair, while participants vie for the much-coveted silver and bronze cravats (it would be far too vulgar to strive for gold). Cheering should be kept to limp-wristed exhortations such as “What-ho!” and “Jolly good show!” while complaints are strictly to be muttered under the breath and kept to things like: “I say, that was a rum challenge old boy.” Strictly amateurs and no denim.

Head to Bedford Square in Bloomsbury on Saturday 12 July, 12pm to dusk. Tickets cost £20 and there is a vintage-dress Blitz Party afterwards, with a special price of £35  for both events.

Soho Waiter’s Race — Cocking a snoot at the upper class twits of the year above are the venerable waiters of Soho who celebrate the 40th anniversary of their annual road race. The challenge here is to get from the French House on Dean Street, around Soho and back to Old Compton Street with a bottle of Champagne on a tray, without spilling a single drop. The race is part of the 40th Soho Village Fete in St Anne’s Gardens which will also feature live music and entertainment, a Pimms bar and bric-a-brac stalls. Oh and another fun fact: the waiter’s race originates from France – but please don’t mention how the French football team were slowly crushed by the Germans the other day.

The 40th Soho Village Fete takes place in St Anne’s Gardens on Sunday 13 July from 12 noon to 6pm, with the Soho Waiter’s Race starting at 15:30 in Dean St. Free entry.

Tedfest — After the exhaustion that comes with failing at all the events above you’ll probably need a cup of tea – “oh go on, go on, go on, go on you will so, have a cup!” Tedfest is a one-day celebration of all things Father Ted arriving direct in Camden Square after seven years in Craggy Island itself (or Inis Mór off Galway Bay where the mighty Channel 4 sit-com was filmed). Participants are encouraged to dress up as priests, tea ladies and ‘lovely ladies’ then join in with events ranging from Human Buckaroo, the Prizeless Quiz, the Craggy Cup (priests vs nuns 5 a side) and the Lovely Ladies Contest. It all sounds like good clean fun – just don’t mention the fact that Ireland didn’t even make it to the World Cup – unless you want to hear a chorus of men dressed as Father jack shouting “Feck off!” at you for five full minutes.

Tedfest is on Saturday 12 July at The London Irish Centre, Camden Square, 12 noon until late. Tickets cost £30 but hurry there are only a limited number.

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