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Frost Fair 2004

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Thursday 18 November 2004 8.44am
Frost Fair 2004

Friday 17th December 12pm—10pm Riverwalk, Bankside

Come and join in with the winter festivities, with music, food, activities and fun. Also featuring a spectacular 30 metre Ice Slide in front of Tate Modern which will be open until Sunday 9th January!

The Frost Fair festival is returning to Southwark's Bankside this December following its successful revival last year by Southwark council's Tourism Unit. This year it promises to be even bigger and better with more craft stalls, music and street theatre.

The Frost Fair originates from the freeze of 1564 when the people of London took to the ice for a carnival on the water. They had coach races, puppet plays, cooking and tippling. This became an annual event and the last Frost Fair was held in 1814, almost 200 years ago, until last year, when Bankside yet again became the site of the Frost Fair Carnival.

This year's free event will last from 12pm to 10pm and will provide entertainment for the whole family. The riverwalk will be filled with a festive and frosty.

Festivities will include local and professional bands and choirs singing your favourite festive tunes, ice sculptures, street theatre to entertain all; mulled wine and food and stalls to buy last minute stocking fillers. Children's activities will include carol singing, workshops and side shows. The music will continue into the evening with entertainment and a frozen ice bar.

More info:
Monday 22 November 2004 5.28pm
Last year I went out of my way to get to the Frost Fair to check it out and to support the revival of a local tradition.
It came to my attention through several sources (including SE1 direct), which all had pretty similar copy about the event.
I found it to be small scale and with little of interest to adults who didn't want to drink

So everything can't be a lavish affair, and events take time to grow - thats understandable.
But the advertising last year was full of hyperbole - most advertising is - but I felt like a dumb eegit for falling for the schtick as it came from my own council.
I was paying through my own taxes to have my own time wasted.

I wonder am I a bah humbug scrooge to say "don't bother going, its crap"?

Monday 22 November 2004 11.02pm
The enormous inflatable icicle things were pretty - from a distance. And I did quite get into the ice bar later on, when I bumped into a few people. But I too found the rest a big let-down. It needs more things happening that take longer than 20 minutes each, with less than 2 hours gap between them. Thats my opinion anyway. But maybe it will be good this year - who knows?
Monday 22 November 2004 11.51pm
will there be ox?
Tuesday 23 November 2004 8.20am
Nope, he's gone back to South Africa to lick his wounds
Tuesday 23 November 2004 10.24am
I'm always a bit suspicious of this sort of publicity puff (for example, the misleading trailers to the recent poppy day fly past) so I do hope it's a bit more entertaining than you suggest - I'm supposed to be helping some friends out serving drinks! Still, I suppose there'll be enough liquid distraction, so expect to find me under one of the bars rather than behind it.
Tuesday 23 November 2004 10.55am
Perhaps we're all disappointed that Southwark Council isn't arranging for the Thames to be frozen over.
Friday 17 December 2004 11.46am
Shame about the weather for the frost fair today....

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Friday 17 December 2004 12.42pm
Wrap up warm and down a few warming vodkas from the ice-bar.
Friday 17 December 2004 2.53pm
Well it was all a bit dismal at lunchtime, but now that the sky has brightened a little and the rain has stopped it might be a bit more enjoyable.

I wouldn't say that there was a *huge* amount to see, though.

Some photos from lunchtime:

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Edited 1 times. Last edit at 17 December 2004 2.55pm by James Hatts.
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