THOUSANDS moored up once again for the annual Stratford River Festival at the weekend.
Even summer showers on Saturday failed to dampen spirits as some 55,000 visitors flooded into town to soak up
boats of all shapes and sizes, live music, food and drink, fireworks and more along the banks of the Avon.
While festival-goers browsed stalls on the recreation ground and sampled some culinary delights, musicians created a chilled ambience as they performed on the main bandstand and acoustic stage, before the heat was turned up the likes of local bands The Midnight Sapphires and The Payback, and headliners The SKAlectrics, who got the crowds dancing as the sun went down.
And Saturday evening was topped off in traditional style with fireworks provided by the team responsible for the London 2012 Olympic firework display.
The fun was not just by the Avon, with Bell Court in the town centre also running a summer beach themed event with free face painting and activities.
Alex Clarke, manager of Stratford’s Sue Ryder charity shop, was among those manning a pop-up shop.
“We first came to the River Festival about five years ago and people loved our pop-up shop, so we’ve been coming back ever since. It’s a good opportunity to heighten awareness and chat to people who wouldn’t normally come to our town shop.”
Tor Wilkes, events manager at organisers Stratforward Business Improvement District, said festival feedback had been fantastic.
“Huge thanks to everyone involved, including our partners on the water Avon Navigation Trust, the sponsors Purity Brewery, Duchy Homes, Avon Boating, Stratford Marina and Bancroft Cruisers. Stratford District Council as ever were very supportive.
“Our many suppliers worked tirelessly to provide a seamless event. But this event could not happen without the fabulous 420 town centre businesses who we work on behalf of. This community event happens because of them. Let’s show our support.”