2007 UK calendar of events Published Jan. 23, 2007 By Natalie Benge Community Relations Advisor ROYAL AIR FORCE LAKENHEATH, England -- I can't believe another year is already upon us. I hope you had a good holiday, and I hope 2007 is a happy and fulfilling year for you and your family. With so many events planned locally and throughout the UK, I thought this week I'd give you insight into some interesting calendar dates for 2007. Chinese New Year festival - London, Feb. 18 In the Chinese community, Chinese New Year is the biggest festival. Each year from late January to mid February there is a parade to mark the start of the year in many locations across the UK, but probably most famous is the London festival, sometimes known as the spring festival in China Town. Attractions include a parade to celebrate 2007, the Year of the Pig, and includes stage performances, music, dance and traditional Chinese events, all in Trafalgar Square in London. There are also two fireworks displays at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. Feb. 18. For more information, visit www.chinatownchinese.co.uk. St. Patrick's Day Festival - Birmingham, March 9-11. Other than New York and Dublin, Birmingham in the West Midlands is proud to host the third largest St. Patrick's Day festival in the world. The festival is held over three days and boasts lively Irish community events to support, promote and develop Irish and Celtic arts and culture. The three days are packed full of dancing, music, arts and crafts, and of course, there will be many a pint of beer drunk. For more information, visit www.stpatricksfestival.com. Oxford vs Cambridge University Boat Race - April 7 Each year the rivalry between Oxford and Cambridge Universities is played out in the form of a boat race on the Thames River. The event is televised, and each year thousands of spectators line the banks of the river to catch sight of the competitors and cheer the winning team on to victory. For more information, visit www.theboatrace.org. Spalding Flower Parade - May 5 The 49th Annual Spalding Flower Festival is May 5-7. This year's theme is "Planet Earth." The May 5 parade will wind over 4.5 miles through Spalding. The floats in the parade are covered in spring flowers and accompanied by marching bands and dancers. The parade starts at 2 p.m., lasting approximately three hours and is free to watch. There will also be a country fair, music festival, art exhibition and funfair with children's entertainment, which makes for a great day out. Suffolk Show May 30-31 The Suffolk Show an annual event held at the Suffolk showground in Ipswich. The show has a wide range of features and attractions including show jumping, birds of prey, bandstands, food halls, a shopping village and demonstrations in rural crafts. For more information and tickets, visit www.suffolkshow.co.uk. Trooping the Color- London Horse Guards. June 16 This is one of the UK's most spectacular and well-known military ceremonial events. Trooping the Colour is performed by fully operational troops from the Household Division and the Kings Troop Royal Horse Artillery. The ceremony marks Her Majesty the Queen's official birthday. Tickets for Trooping the Colour are very limited and are applied for by ballot by the end of February. Applications should be made by post to: Brigade Major, HQ Household Division, Horse Guards, Whitehall, London, SW1A 2AX. If unable to get tickets, the parade can be seen from St. James Park or along the Mall. The event is also broadcast on television in the UK For more information, visit www.royal.gov.uk. Cambridge Folk Festival - July 26-29 The Cambridge Folk Festival is one of the longest running music festivals in the world. It takes place annually in Cambridge with the support of British Broadcasting Corporation Radio 2. The festival is normally sold out, so get tickets early. For more information, visit www.cambridgefolkfestival.co.uk. Notting Hill Carnival - London August 24-26 The Notting Hill Carnival has been taking place in London, the last weekend in August, every year since 1964. This great festival began initially from the energies of Black immigrants from the Caribbean, particularly from Trinidad, where the Carnival tradition is very strong. The carnival also grew because of people living locally who dreamed of creating a festival to bring together the people of Notting Hill, most of whom were facing racism, lack of work opportunities and poor housing conditions resulting in a general suppression of self-esteem. The carnival is attended by thousands of people each year, and is a real treat. Blackpool Illuminations - September Blackpool's Illuminations are switched on annually at the start of September and continue, nightly, until the beginning of November. There is a free show of moving, glowing tableaux, large illuminated models and laser lights attracting more than 3.5 million visitors a year. The display stretches along Blackpool's famous seafront, transforming the promenade into a wonderland of color. In addition to the illuminations, visitor can experience the fun fair, take a tram ride or a leisurely stroll along the seafront.