3 Canal Festivals for Spring Bank Holiday 2016
This week’s blog article is all about how to have boating fun even if you don’t have a boat. If you want to research what you need to know about boats while also having loads of festival fun then you need this;
The Boatshed Grand Union guide to the bank holiday weekend.
Crick Boat Show 28th– 30th May 2016
Known as Britain’s biggest inland waterways festival, there is plenty to see and do at Crick. I went one year when it was pouring with rain and we still had a brilliant time. (While the Queen hung gallantly on to her hat and handbag at the Jubilee pageant, a slightly smaller bunch of boat fans were enjoying the delights of the weekend climate at the Crick Boat Show.) I went with my husband and two young daughters so we left our boat and just went up for the day in the car. The organisers were well prepared for rain.Proper walkways were laid down along all the main routes so that they didn’t turn into a splodgy quagmire. A good amount of the trader’s stalls on display were in large marquees and there were plenty of newly built boats on show, to step inside and look around. Some were on hard standing and some were moored in the marina. (See more at: The Watery World of the Crick Boat Show).
Here’s a cool little video of last year’s show. This year you can expect to see a marina full of boats, over 250 exhibitors, music, food and about 25,000 visitors!
Tottenham Ploughmans RiverFest 29th May 2016
The river Lea flows through Hertfordshire to east London passing through Enfield, Haringey and Hackney. Unfortunately it is one of the unhealthiest rivers in the country and is in the bottom 7% for England, but the seven pledges aim to stop pollution entering our rivers. (Check out the seven simple things we can all do to help make our rivers healthier.)
The RiverFest is an opportunity to bring these east London communities together to eat, drink, create, dance, and make the rivers better. As well as the free festival there are also several walks, cycle rides, workshops, and open days, all about the rivers.
At the festival you’ll find a variety of food stalls, plus other small traders selling crafts, reclaimed furniture, photography and more. Walthamstow Wetlands, Environment Agency, Thames 21, Lee Valley Parks, Cleanup UK, Canal & Rivers Trust and Lordship Rec Rivers Group will be available to chat. There are lots of family-friendly activities including creating a River Goddess sculpture or trying Crayfish Bob's crayfish boil. On the stage from midday check out majorettes, bands, a choir, Morris men and Folk Dance Remixed.
IWA Trailboat Festival,28th - 29th May
If you fancy getting away for the weekend you could head up north to the IWA Trailboat Festival near Sheffield. It will be combined with the Chesterfield Canal Trust's annual Festival and held at Staveley Town Basin. Highlights will include an illuminated parade of boats on the Saturday night and a convoy right up to the River Rother at St Helena’s on the Monday. There will be a Drive a Digger experience, boat rides, canoeing, children’s rides, plenty of entertainment, dozens of stalls plus food and drink including a real ale bar.
If you already have plans this weekend you can still catch another festival later in the summer. Checkout most of this summer's canal festivals, all in one list, with links! (This took me ages to compile!) Canal Festivals 2016: The Ultimate Guide.
Just for fun: How many types of boater will you spot this summer? The 7 People You May Meet at a Canal Festival.
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