What's going on in the rest of the world?

  • The Midgie
  • 1 December 2008
Elvis birthday cake

Busker Festival
For 'buskers', read extravagant street performers and various freaky people who really would be more at home in a circus atmosphere. Lovely folk though. The pick of the bunch are Bendy Em, who proclaims to be able to twist, turn and fold herself into any shape, and Rubberband Boy, who contorts his face into a variety of grimaces using a world record amount of rubber bands. What an attractive couple they'd make.
Busker's Festival, Thu 22 Jan–Sun 1 Feb, Busker Park, Christchurch, New Zealand, www.worldbuskersfestival.com

Elvis's Birthday Celebrations
If the king were alive today (and he may well be) he would be celebrating his 73rd year. This four-day birthday extravaganza of fun includes drink-fuelled dance parties, Elvis bingo, a cake-cutting ceremony and a big birthday breakfast feast. The king would likely have approved.
Elvis's Birthday Celebrations, 8–11 Jan, various venues, Memphis, Tennesse, USA, www.elvis.com

Cockroach Race
As well as cockroach racing, this event also has a best 'wacky' costume award and a Miss Cocky pageant competition. So really, the poor little cockroaches take a bit of a back-seat to all the human dress-up malarkey. But the roaches do get some attention, mostly when they get sprayed with a water hose in order to 'test their roach talent'. Clearly the most fun is to be had in naming your chosen roach, with Osama Big Cockroach and Cocksucker being some of the most colourful names of last year’s competitors.
Cockroach Racing, 26 Jan, Story Bridge Hotel, Brisbane, Australia, www.cockroaches.com.au

Santa Speedo Run
This race began in Boston in December 2000, when five men donned their Speedos and raced through the streets. You wouldn't really expect such lunacy to catch on, but once again, that would be underestimating the insanity of people. The race now attracts thousands of participants, scantily clad in nowt but Speedos and a Santa hat. There is one saving grace though: the event stipulates 'strictly no thongs'. Phew.
Santa Speedo Run, 13 Dec, Boylston Street, Boston, Massachusetts, USA, www.santaspeedorun.com

Harbin Ice Festival
For a whole month, Harbin in China becomes home to hundreds of giant snow sculptures and multi-coloured illuminated ice buildings. There is something fragile and other-worldly about them and you can walk around and climb up some ice steps into a little ice house. It is all rather beautiful. And then what do they go and do? At the end of the festival, hordes of people take to the streets and smash the sculptures to smithereens. Romance is officially dead.
Harbin Ice Festival, 5 Jan–5 Feb, Harbin, Heilongjiang, China, www.cnto.org

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