May 30. Coopers Hill, near Gloucester, Stroud and Cheltenhamin the Cotswolds. Ancient tradition dating to pre-Roman times. Held continuously for the last 200 years, an event in which contestants race down a steep 300-yard hill after a seven-to-nine-pound wheel of double Gloucester cheese. The races (four in total, with 1015 participants) begin at noon, with a top-hatted master of ceremonies beginning the countdown: One to be ready, two to be steady, three to prepare and four to be off! Spectators lining the hill chant, “Roll that cheese!” The unusual festival is marked by many injuries of racers and spectators. The winner gets the cheese.
Image: Dave Farrance, CC 3.0