Countdown to River Festival

Thousands of people descend on Stratford-upon-Avon every summer for the River Festival.

THOUSANDS of people are expected to flock to Stratford this weekend for the hugely popular River Festival.

Now in its eight year, the festival regularly attracts thousands of visitors who enjoy the 100 narrow boats on show, the live music, the food and craft stalls and the spectacular Saturday night firework display. There will also be a world first when cardboard artist Will Alexander, who was born in Stratford, launches his handmade cardboard gondola for its maiden voyage on the River Avon.

The creation is half the length of a real gondola but made in exactly the same way only using cardboard instead of traditional materials. Music wise the six-piece party band Mister Shakes, featuring Brian Ferry’s sax player, will headline on the Saturday and the event will close with one of the UK’s leading Glenn Miller tribute groups, the

Ashby Big Band.

The River Festival is organised by Stratforward – Stratford’s Business Improvement District (BID) – which represents nearly 500 shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses in the town.

Ruth Wood, event organiser, said: “After last year’s record-breaking

event, we can’t wait to welcome even more people back to Stratford for one of the highlights of our calendar.

“From boats to bands, there’s something for everyone over the weekend – and it’s all free. It’s no surprise it’s one of the leading free festivals in the region.”

The River Festival on Stratford’s Recreation Ground runs this Saturday and Sunday, 2nd and 3rd July.