Large Crowds enjoy Stratford River Festival

The sixth Stratford-upon-Avon River Festival, took place last weekend on the riverbank opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, on the River Avon. The event is organised by Stratforward, the town’s Business Improvement District, which represents nearly 500 shops, cafes, restaurants and other businesses.
Since it was established the River Festival has grown to become one of the region’s leading free festivals and a record-breaking crowd of nearly 50,000 revellers attended the event.
For two whole days over July 5th and 6th weekend the riverside came alive with a large array of boats, both powered and unpowered (rowing boats and canoes) and a large range of stalls and entertainment for children.
For those older there was a great program of bands and performers, mostly local groups, leading up to the headline act on Saturday night of the Haggis Horns, a jazz funk band.
Of the groups I saw perform special note should be made of Caitlin D Project, Shanade, Bunsen Honey (the later two from Leamington Spa) and By Lantern Light.
Of the performers the Rozie T Dance Academy gave a wonderfully athletic performance in front of a packed crowd in deck chairs and standing room only.
After the headline band had finished an illuminated boat parade took place going from twilight to dark in front of packed crowds on both banks of the river. This was followed by a firework show.

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