Sunday, June 3, 2012

Events: How to Celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in NYC

There are many formal ceremonies going on this week in England to celebrate Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee (60 years a queen!). She is only the second Queen of England to reach this milestone, after my namesake Queen Victoria, the current record holder for longest reign. For a full list of the Queen's official Diamond Jubilee events, click HERE. Many of these events will be televised in the USA. You can find a full list HERE on Smitten by Britain's blog. Highlights include: The Thames River Pageant (3 June 11am-1pm EST on CNN; 8:30am-1pm EST on BBC America), The Diamond Jubilee Concert (5 June 9pm EST on ABC),  and the Royal Carriage Procession (5 June 9am-1pm on CNN; 4:15am-10am approx. on BBC America).

While many of us wish we could attend the Epsom Derby or the Thames flotilla this weekend, a last minute trip to the UK would set you back a good number of £'s. However, New York is no short of its own celebrations. Last Thursday there was the fantastic "Great British Run / Run to Be Great" 6k race in Central Park hosted by the British Consulate-General in New York with some great sponsors like BBC America and British Airways. I was there and definitely enjoyed the performances by The Beatles cover band "British Mania", fun running attire including fascinators by Fascinators NYC and bowler hats from BBC America, demonstrations by USA Rugby / Premiership Rugby, and goodies like Standard Chartered Liverpool FC gym bags and Molton Brown body wash. About 1,000 runners came out for the event and it was a smashing success! The start / finish line was even constructed to resemble the Tower of London! Proceeds benefited George NYC's charities (part of the St. George's Society) and Disabled Sports USA. You can view pictures from the event HERE.

On Saturday Virgin America turned Union Square into Union Jack Square. They put up a set that included a guardhouse and a costumed "beefeater" guard. Attendees had a chance to try their best to make the guard laugh in competition for free flights to London.

Today (Sunday) British eatery Jones Wood Foundry will be hosting a day full of themed entertainers, musical performances, charity events, and a raffle. Festivities start at 11am and will go until around 7pm. You can get all of the details on their Facebook event page HERE.

HOST YOUR OWN PARTY: In case you missed out on any of these festivities, there are also many of fun and festive ways to celebrate at home this month! Smitten by Britain is a fantastic USA-based blog for Anglophiles. This week they've put up several posts with some great party ideas - they even include some printable decorations and recipes! You can find them HERE and HERE. If you're an avid baker, you may also want to try out the "Traditional British Cake Recipes" book by Jane Romsey. It is available on Amazon for just 99 cents for the downloadable Kindle version (NOTE: You do not need to own a Kindle in order to download any books in Kindle format. Simply download the FREE software to your computer and you can read the books instantly from your laptop or desktop). You can find the cake recipes book HERE. She also has recipes books on Amazon for scones, puddings, and biscuits.

Stay posted for a list / details of local and online shops that carry British food products and souvenirs. That will be my next post in celebration of the Diamond Jubilee!

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