The Best Stratford River Festival...Ever!
More than 70,000 revelers flocked to Stratford-upon-Avon’s recreation ground for last weekend’s free River Festival, making it the best Stratford River Festival…ever, in its seven-year history.
Crowds gathered to see over 100 colourful river and narrow boats of all shapes and sizes, and enjoy world class bands, performers, a host of family entertainment, and a grand firework finale.
Festival Organiser, Ruth Wood of Stratforward said, “We are delighted with the number of visitors at the River Festival and pleased with the feedback from town centre businesses involved. It seems to be Stratford’s number one event on the social calender! All accommodation in Stratford was booked up and the economic impact on the town was phenomenal.”
The View Restaurant is located at the recreation ground and its proprietor Carl Harrison commented, “The atmosphere was fantastic, as ever. It was nice to see the local community and visitors come together and enjoy the Stratford spirit.”
The One Elm’s Deputy Manager Mat Faulkner agreed, “The One Elm’s Pop up Bar enjoyed this great community event. It’s been like home from home with so many of our guests coming both to the festival and to The One Elm.”
“What a fantastic weekend! I’ve never seen Stratford so buzzing! It’s great to be local girls supporting a local event.” said co-owner Nicola Yapp of The Little Gin Company.
The massive musical line included more than 25 singers, bands and groups. The performers loved the vibe and award-winning singer –songwriter Kristy Gallacher of Coventry summed up how the performers felt, “Absolutely loved playing the Stratford River Festival – one of the best gigs I’ve had in a long time!”.
On Saturday night, the headlining band Kinky Farnham, a 9 Piece Funk and Soul Band, was loved by all and helped make Stratford River Fest a night to remember. The Saturday finale firework display was truly spectacular with an American Independence Day theme as it was July 4th after all! Local company Forest Fireworks provided the fireworks and received many compliments.
“This year’s success is a tribute to the hard work of those working in partnership including the Avon Navigation Trust, Avon Boating, Stratford Ambulance Association, Stratford District Council, Cotswold Markets, Stratford Marina, the traders, volunteers, and the generous financial support of the Stratford Town Trust. Also the unsung heroes the boaters, who were up from dawn on Sunday for a giant litter pick to restore the site.” said Ruth Wood.
The Festival was organised on behalf of more than 450 town centre businesses - all members of the Stratforward Business Improvement District. The free Festival Programme included a discount card which is valid for the next two weeks. Organisers are encouraging people to show their appreciation for this highly popular free event by supporting Stratford town centre businesses.