The first annual Britfest commenced in New York last week and it’s not too late for British expatriates to join in the fun. The event, which has been organized by Big Apple Brits founder Louise Gale, is intended as a festival where expatriates can experience British culture and celebrate all things British.
Speaking in UK newspaper The Telegraph, Louise told reporters: "I was sitting with my co-founders Patricia and Derek, and we were talking about the vast amount of parades and festivals New York has. We realized that though every other nationality seems to have some form of day or event, Britishness goes rather uncelebrated in the Big Apple.
"We'd all heard of Brit Week, a similar event held in LA, and so we decided to organize our own festival. It seemed not only like the perfect opportunity to have a bit of a knees up with the members of Big Apple Brits, but a good chance to meet many of the other expats in New York we don't yet know."
The event, which started on Friday June the 4th, will end on the 10th June, with a number of activities taking place over the forthcoming week. Events that remain are as follows:
Tuesday 8th June: 7pm. Brit Art Event. Kilmat. Entry free.
Expats will exhibit their paintings and photographs and the proceeds from all the art sales will be given to a local charity, Free Arts NYC, which provides under privileged children with an opportunity to participate in an educational art and mentoring program.
Wednesday 9th June 7pm. Brit Bits 7 Theatre. Entry $18.
A trip to the theater is planned for Wednesday night with the return of Mind The Gap Brit Brits, a series of 8 short plays that are aimed at the “busy Anglophile.” All expats who register via the group’s Meetup event page will be offered a free glass of wine prior to the play.
Thursday 10th June 7pm. World Cup Kick Off Party. Slattery’s Pub. Entry free.
The end of the first annual Britfest will be celebrated alonsigde the start of the 2010 World Cup with a party at Slattery’s Pub. All attendees will be offered a free shot of Bulldog Gin as well as various other free shots and happy hour specials throughout the night.
The authors of the new World Cup book (Steven Stark, former NPR and CNN commentator, and Harry Stark) will be in attendance and will be giving away some books.
For those expatriates who can’t make it this year, don’t worry because it looks like the whole event shall be run again next year:
"We've got a lot of different events this June, but we had to be realistic about what we could plan in so short a time. So we've already started thinking of what we can do for the second festival. I'm hoping to do more family orientated things, for example, and maybe something on British fashion,” Louise told The Telegraph.
"Eventually, we hope the festival will become an annual occasion which brings the British community in New York together, as well as any resident Anglophiles who'd perhaps like to learn more about British culture. Being an expat can be quite lonely, and the festival will with any luck help us support each other - as well as perhaps provide an opportunity to support British owned businesses."
More information on the event can be found on the Britfest Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/pages/BritFest-NYC/115442695150961.
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