EVEN the sun sailed into Stratford for the annual River Festival.
More than 30 acts took to the bandstand and acoustic stage on the Recreation Ground over the weekend with some 60,000 people coming out to enjoy the free event on the banks of the Avon.
There was food and drink aplenty including Thai street food, fish and chips, wood-fired pizza, a barbecue, pick and mix sweets, popup bars and a prosecco and Pimms tent.
Now in its eighth year, the annual event boasted music of all kinds from the 40s style Midnight Sapphires to the Sunny Side Up ukulele band who were supported by youngsters from Bridgetown Primary School.
There was a strong charity presence at the festival too with the Shakespeare Hospice selling scratch cards, a Shakespeare Lions tombola, fairy face-painting, swing boat rides and a chance for youngsters to scale a climbing wall.
Artist Will Alexander took his cardboard gondola on it’s maiden voyage on the Avon and is now set to take his creation to the canals of Venice.
Event Organiser from Stratforward, Ruth Wood said: “We were absolutely delighted with the support that the River Festival got in its eight year – with bad weather expected we were staggered at the attendance figures – and rewarded with an incredible day of sunshine on Sunday.
“Even in the downpours on Saturday, it was amazing to see people simply putting up their brollies and getting on with the party.
“Our traders within the festival have reported it was their best ever year and footfall across Stratford was very high too.
“And what’s 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.”
The event has become an important feature in the town’s calendar and won the Tourism Initiative of the Year Award in the Touch FM Pride of Stratford Awards earlier on in 2016.