During my first years of writing this blog, I couldn’t wait until spring and the return of the free Sunday afternoon lawn programs at the House of Pacific Relations International Cottages in Balboa Park. From March through October, 32 different cultures would take turns hosting a cultural festival, featuring traditional music and dance, colorful costumes, and enough delectable food to hold me over until … well, dinnertime.
Such a limited schedule, however, begged the obvious question, “What about November through February?" And for dogsake, "What about Saturday?!”
It seems my years of hounding the good folks who run the various international houses is starting to pay off, as each passing year has seen the emergence of a welcome new trend: more programs, not only during “off season” months, but on Saturdays as well.
Take this weekend, for example. The House of England, which is hosting its annual Sunday lawn program on April 12 in celebration St. George’s Day, is also presenting an English Village Fete on Saturday, April 11, from 12 noon to 4pm.
What does that mean in practical terms? More bangers and mash, more shepherd’s pie, more costumed bobbies and beefeaters, and more entertainment fit for a king, including performances by the Moreton Bay Fig Dancers and Shakespeare-inspired fun with my favorite dog-friendly verbavore, Richard Lederer.
Looking ahead at the 2015 Lawn Program schedule, I see that these double-header weekends, when a Saturday festival precedes a Sunday lawn program, are becoming the new normal. Now if they would only extend the lawn programs to Monday through Friday, I could lick my weekday withdrawal symptoms for good!