SMOOTH waters welcomed Stratford River festival to town at the weekend.
Despite a choppy forecast the weather gods smiled on the ever-popular festival on Saturday and Sunday (July 5 and 6).
Some 50,000 visitors enjoyed the spectacle of boats of various shapes and sizes moored up along the Avon, while there was plenty of fun and games for landlubbers to enjoy on the Recreation Ground, from a craft village to live music, and also plenty of tasty food and drink to savour.
Ruth Wood, events manager at organisers Stratforward, said: “The festival went really well and was, once again, extremely well attended. We definitely matched last year’s record-breaking visitor numbers, while some traders have reported their most successful sales weekend ever.
“Despite reports to the contrary, the bad weather held off and visitors were able to enjoy everything the River Festival had to offer to its full effect. We would like to thank all the volunteers and organisations that helped us to make the festival such a success.”
This year’s event also coincides with the 50th anniversary of the reopening of the Stratford Canal and the 40th anniversary of the reopening of the Avon to Stratford.
And on Friday (July 4) two boat trips made by the Queen Mother were recreated with musical accompaniment by Orchestra of the Swan who played on a pontoon floating down the Avon to mark the anniversaries.
Time to relax…. 28.014.010.strat.jm3
Having a lovely time on the river. 28.014.010.strat.jm4
Steph Lorenz and pal “Dave the Boater” with their ocean going barge. Steph has set up a charitable trust in memory of her late husband that allows people to spend weekends on her barge and learn the ways of the inland canal network and boat handling skills. 28.014.010.strat.jm9
Barges lined the riverbank. 28.014.010.strat.jm5
Eric Layor from Startford in East London entertained passers by with his George Formby classics. 28.014.010.strat.jm8
Enjoying a glass of Champagne in a gondola on the Avon. 28.014.010.strat.jm15