EUROPE’S MOST FUN FESTIVAL TO COMPETE IN
For millennia humanity has attempted to quantify what makes us human, what separates us from the animals. Philosophers have wasted away in their garrets consumed by the desire to distill the essence of our species down to a single, perfect account.
But perhaps it is as simple as this: If you take an activity that is considered ridiculous or dangerous in normal life, and turn it into a sport, we humans are willing to suffer degradation, ridicule and even injury for the faint chance of winning something. All you need to do is watch Big Brother or Japanese TV for the proof.
All around the world fabulous festivals have grown up around the most unlikely of sports. This week One Small World will be announcing the three finalists for Europe’s
MOST FUN FESTIVAL TO COMPETE IN
These festivals encompass a fantastic sense of the ridiculous along with a healthy dose of tongue-in-cheek humour. Yet what is perhaps most interesting is that the most successful and fun events share in common a strong community spirit. In some this manifests as a spirit of benevolence, a willingness to step beyond your comfort zone because it will benefit others. In other cases, the events attract a likeminded audience willing to share the same experience.
But aside from this, these event are some of the most fun and eclectic activities you can get up to over a European Summer.
And the winner is…..
Wales’ World Alternative Games!
Tucked away, as it is, in the rolling hills of central Wales, the little town of Llanwrtyd Wells could easily be overlooked by the rest of the world. Yet every the year thousands of people flock to this village for its utterly unique calendar of events. This little town, which could have gone quietly into the night without a whimper, instead refuses to be ignored, raising its voice against the fog of obscurity to become Europe’s Mecca of bizarre sporting events.
The newest of these events, and the most audacious, has been the World Alternative Games (WAG), Llanwrtyd Wells’ answer to the Olympics. Listing 60 different events this is likely the only chance you’ll ever get to win a gold medal in Pub Trivia, or try your hand at Finger Jousting, or regret your choices during Gravy Wrestling.
There are a host of events for kids as well as adults; while the kids compete in the marble championship, Dad can be out the back winning the Stiletto Racing and while Mum takes gold in the Office Chair Racing.
Yet despite the the fun of taking home swags of medals, the WAG would not be winning this award if it were not for the people behind it. There is a palpable community spirit to LLanwrtyd Wells, the inhabitants are friendly, fun, and passionate. This seems to attract people from all over the world with a shared sense of humour, definitely making this Europe’s Most Fun Festival to Compete in.
But just remember, the World Alternative Games happens every two years, with the next one scheduled for 2016. But if ever you find yourself passing through Wales, it’s worth stopping by at LLanwrtyd Wells, you never know what might be happening. Check the Green Event website for more information on upcoming events!
Check out the original blog post and don’t forget to ‘Like’ One Small World on Facebook.
What: The World Alternative Games
When: Happens every 2 years, around August. Next outing 2016
Where: Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, UK
How Much: Event Entry varies from £1 – £15 depending on event
Why: The chance to be the best in the world at a sport no one else has heard of!
More info: http://www.worldalternativegames.com
See below for the top three finalists!
The THIRD and FINAL nominee for the category of Europe’s Most Fun Festival to Compete in is…
Sheffield’s World Water Bombing Championships
See what all the splash was about at the original blog post:
“Splash for Cash for Cancer – The World Water Bombing Championships”
The World Water Bombing Champs are unashamed fun. Get a team of mates together, choose the most outlandish team dress-up theme and then throw yourself off a three-metre diving board intent on maximum liquid carnage. What’s not to love?
And it’s all in the name of cancer – so it’s good for your karmic balance as well.
The World Water Bombing Championships are held in Sheffield, England every year and are run by Macmillan Cancer Support a very popular charity that assists people recovering from cancer, offering them the service and assistance (both physical and emotional) required to have the absolute best chance of a positive and long lasting recovery.
Your dress up and bomb technique is only limited to your imagination, but a word of advice: Morphsuits, those one piece lyrca bodysuits, become very difficult to breath in once the lycra covering your mouth gets wet…Don’t make the same mistake one of this years teams did.
But no one was hurt – though there was a lot of gasping from the Morphsuit boys – and both the crowd and the competitors had a fantastic time, raising over £10,000 for Macmillan.
And that’s the most fun activity of them all.
To read more about the World Water Bombing Champs see here.
To donate or offer assistance of your own to Macmillan Cancer Support, see their website.
The SECOND finalist for the category of Europe’s Most Fun Festival to Compete in is…
Check out all the madness at the original blog post:
“Tweed and the Face Weasel – Surrealist sports at the Chap Olympiad”
Competing at the Chap Olympiad, in London’s leafy Bedford Square, requires two things – panache, spiced with a little bit of lunacy.
Fuelled by Pimms, gin and pipe tobacco the Chap Olympiad brings together London’s Chap and Chapettes, those fashionable forerunners of elegance and style, for a sporting event for people who don’t like sports.
When not competing is events such as Volleybowler, Umbrella Jousting, and the Limp Handshake, you spend your time sitting around linen dressed tables or weaving your way through the impeccably dressed crowd to the sound of ‘Hear, Hear’ and ‘Good show, old Chap’.
Stepping through the gate into the dappled shade of Bedford Square is like stepping into an alternate universe, one in which tracksuits, dub step and the 20th century never existed. Here winning at sports does not necessitate being any good at them, tea is a mandatory performance enhancing drug, and flexing a wry sense of humor will benefit you more than any bulging muscles.
Though, that being said, women will still swoon for a Victorian Strong Man who can bend steel rods across his back. Some things are the same no matter which universe you live in.
The Chap Olympiad is a raucous, surrealist, and genuinely hilarious event that never takes itself too seriously. Groom your facial hair accordingly.
To read more about the Chap Olympiad see here.
And you can check out and subscribe to The Chap magazine for all your dandyish needs.
The FIRST finalist for the category of Europe’s Most Fun Festival to Compete In is…
Wales’ World Alternative Games
To get a full taste of the festival check out the blog post:
“The Oddball Olympics – The World Alternative Games”
Training, sacrifice, the constant burning ache of muscles pushed to the limit – these are the everyday burden of our Olympic athletes.
Beer, banter and the weight of medals hanging around your neck – these are the everyday burdens of those people that compete in the World Alternative Games.
I know which one I’d choose…and in fact I did.
It is only fitting for our first finalist in the category of Most Fun Festival to Compete In, should be the World Alternative Games (WAG), an epic 3 week long schedule of events that don’t make it onto the Olympic calendar.
From Backwards Running to Husband Dragging, Gravy Wrestling to Finger Jousting, if you’ve ever thought that something should be a sport but wasn’t, then the World Alternative Games will probably prove you wrong.
With over 70 events on the list (the real Olympics apparently only have around 26) and medals for everyone that competes, you’ll leave the WAG with a swath of medals swinging from around your neck. I haven’t felt this level of ‘Everyone’s a Winner’ spirit since Grade 5 swimming carnival.
The entire event is coordinated and run by a small, dedicated, and run-off-their-feet team of locals that still manage to be the friendliest of people. Getting to know the locals (and the cute local pubs) is as much an event as any of the listed activities.
The little town of LLanwrtyd Wells does a spectacular job turning its localities into fields of glory. Just remember that the WAG only happens every two years. The next World Alternative Games will be in 2016, plenty of time to practice your Office Chair Racing in the meantime.