MORE than 70,000 people sailed on down to Stratford River Festival at the weekend.
There were over 100 colourful river and narrow boats of all shapes and sizes on the Avon, and on the neighbouring recreation ground there was music, food and drink, and a grand firework finale on an American Independence Day theme as it was July 4.
Festival Organiser Ruth Wood of Stratforward said it was the best festival in the event’s seven year history.
She told The Observer: “We are delighted with the number of visitors at River Festival and pleased with the feedback from town centre businesses involved.
“It seems to be Stratford’s number one event on the social calender. All accommodation in Stratford was booked up and the economic impact on the town was phenomenal.
“This year’s success is a tribute to the hard work of those working in partnership including the Avon Navigation Trust, Avon Boating, Stratford Ambulance Association, Stratford District Council, Cotswold Markets, Stratford Marina, the traders, volunteers, and the generous financial support of the Stratford Town Trust.
“Also the unsung heroes the boaters, who were up from dawn on Sunday for a giant litter pick to restore the site.”
Carl Harrison, owner of The View Restaurant on the recreation ground, was full of praise for the festival.
He said: “The atmosphere was fantastic, as ever. It was nice to see the local community and visitors come together and enjoy the Stratford spirit.”