ALL waterways led to Stratford at the weekend.
At least that’s how it felt as some 80,000 people flowed into town for the ninth annual Stratford River Festival.
Crowds enjoyed live music, food and drink, a huge selection of stalls and plenty of fun and games celebrating all things riverside on banks of the Avon in the Recreation Ground.
Joe Baconnet, director of organisers Stratforward said: “We had a lot of favourable comments about the additional security and how appreciative people were. The event was a great success and the security presence was a key part of that. We also had a lot of lovely comments about the police presence all over town.
“It was just a fantastic weekend, with a great atmosphere throughout. We were pleased and astounded by the attendance figures, no doubt helped by the glorious sunshine.
“Our traders reported it was their best year ever – on both sides of the river – and what’s really important is the long-lasting impact this event has too. It showcases Stratford far and wide and encourages visitors to come back again and again.
“Next year is going to be our tenth festival and we’re already looking forward it.
“Thank you to the public and businesses who have taken it to their heart and helped make it the huge success it is.”
The River Festival also attracted more charities than ever before.
More than 30 attended to set out their stalls and fundraise through plenty of fun and games. Many other charities were there as part of a ‘Volunteer Village’ funded by Stratford Town Trust, giving them a presence and an opportunity to chat to and recruit potential volunteers.
Rachel Key, Hub Manager at Tyler House, said it meant a lot to be involved.
“We had a fabulous weekend as part of Stratford Town Trust’s Volunteer Village, recruiting for Stratford Samaritans and the other groups that use Tyler House.
“It was great to see old friends and meet so many new ones interested in giving their time to be a lifeline for someone else.”