ALL ABOARD FOR STRATFORD RIVER FESTIVAL – FANCY THAT!
Ahoy....thousands of people expected to flock to Stratford next month for the annual Stratford upon Avon River Festival are being asked to dress for the occasion....in fancy dress!
Organisers of the two day extravaganza – which takes place on Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th July – are asking revellers attending the Saturday night festivities to dress up to add to the party atmosphere.
Ruth Wood, Event Manager said: "The River Festival is already Stratford’s biggest and best free party but we wanted to add even more colour to the event.”
"There is no particular theme, we are just suggesting people dig out whatever is at the bottom of their wardrobes and come along and party. Pirates, fairies, super – heroes, 70s funksters will all be welcome. There will be prizes for the best.”
The Festival - now in its seventh year - will once again be centred on the river and adjacent Recreation Ground. More than 70,000 people are expected to attend over the weekend.
Ruth Wood added: “The River Festival is definitely one of the highlights of the Stratford annual calendar and there is truly something for everyone over the two days whether you are three or 93 – and best of all it is free!”
Central to the Festival will as usual be the hundreds of boaters who bring their colourful river and canal boats to the event. Thanks to the Avon Navigation Trust around a hundred vessels are expected to be moored up on the river for all to see. Clive Matthews from the Trust said:
"We are very proud to be the main partner working with Stratforward on this prestigious event. It is a fantastic opportunity for us to show the huge amount of work our wonderful volunteers do with all the towns on the river.
The Trust are also organising the Illuminated Boat Parade on the Saturday night. Clive went on: "We hope this year it will be bigger and better than ever with a marvellous new trophy for the best boat taking part."
Immediately after the parade will be the traditional fireworks finale at 10.30pm. To mark the Festival coinciding with American Independence Day , Forest Fireworks are planning a "Stars and Stripes" theme.
Back on land, masses of free music and entertainment will be on offer. There will be two stages in operation throughout the event – The Bandstand and The Acoustic Stage.
Stratford based choir Amicantus will kick off the Festival at 12:15pm on the Saturday with their diverse repertoire which includes everything from Mozart to Take That and even a bit of Disney!
Other highlights will include: Kinky Farnham a nine-piece funk and soul band who are headlining on the Saturday night; and award winning singer songwriter Kristy Gallacher - who has recently supported Ed Sheeran – on the Sunday. A full entertainment programme will be published shortly.
For those needing a little retail therapy there will be a craft market with stalls selling everything from traditional narrow boat ware to handmade books and the work of talented local artists.
Food and drink will also feature heavily. In addition to three bars, there will be a wide range of food offerings including: BBQ’s; crêpe stalls; Thai, Japanese and Italian cuisine; and even vintage-style toasties served from a classic VW camper van.
The Festival runs from 10am on Saturday 4 July until 8pm on Sunday 5 July and is FREE to attend.
Further information is available from
Stratforward Business Improvement District (BID) organises Stratford River Festival. It represents over 450 shops, cafes, pubs, restaurants and businesses in Stratford upon Avon town centre.
Others involved in organising the festival include: The Avon Navigation Trust.
Festival sponsors include: Touch FM, Avon Boating, Stratford Marina, Stratford Town Trust.
Festival supporters include: Stratford District Council, The Dirty Duck, The Garrick Inn.
Media sponsors: Touch FM
Stunts in the punt at Stratford River Festival from left to right: Jay Swinfen of Avon Boating, Ruth Wood and Tor Wilkes of Stratforward, John and Heather Dews of Stratford Marina. Fancy dress courtesy of Stratford Fancy Dress Hire.
Boat Loads of Fun at Stratford River Festival from left to right: John Dews of Stratford Marina, Jay Swinfen of Avon Boating, Tor Wilkes and Ruth Wood of Stratforward, Geoff Atkinson of Touch FM. Fancy dress courtesy of Stratford Fancy Dress Hire.
For further media information, please contact Tor Wilkes at Stratforward BID on 01789 299011 or email Tor@stratforward.co.uk