This year’s River Festival is fast approaching with the event taking place on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July, celebrating its 40th Anniversary.
2016’s Festival saw over a quarter of a million people come to Bedford’s beautiful riverside, with events expanding down the river this year with St Mary’s Gardens opposite Riverside Bedford getting in on the action.
With just one month to go there is still time to get involved in the Parade which this year will follow a new route covering even more of the town centre. The Parade will be led by the Bedford Pipe Band, and vehicles will again be permitted so groups can walk or organise a float.
There is plenty happening on the water too with boat parades, a river swim, inflatable animal race, Jet Boots displays, a canoe river cruise, and paddleboard racing. There will also be lots of opportunities to come and have a go at new activities at the Sports Village and Watersports Arena. There are twenty six teams signed up for the Dragonboat races and twenty five teams signed up for the Raft Races, but there are still places available.
Around the Embankment will see a WW1 Heritage Village, funfairs and plenty of live music and events on six separate stages across the site. There will also be plenty of stalls to browse, with food from around the world, displays from Bedford College, Made in Bedford and the Artists Network as well as a marquee hosting The Higgins Bedford.
Mayor Dave Hodgson said “This year’s River Festival will be the biggest ever, but despite its growth over the last forty years it still retains its unique character and community spirit. There is so much to enjoy at this free community event, from the spectacle of the boats on the river, to the stalls and activities on the riverside to the fireworks lighting up the sky above. As ever the event will be all about the people and groups taking part, and there are still opportunities to get involved, including in the Carnival Parade and the river races.”
Programmes are available from the Customer Contact Centre, Borough Hall, the Borough’s libraries, or The Higgins Bedford.