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Mayor Dave - Unique River Festival Spirit Will be on Show this Weekend

July 18, 2014 4:19 PM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Raft Racing at Bedford River FestivalThis weekend is River Festival weekend, with a huge range of attractions and activities taking place across the vast festival site on both Saturday and Sunday. A full programme and site map can be found by clicking here: River Festival Programme and Map

In his monthly column for the Times and Citizen, Mayor Dave Hodgson has written that it is the huge numbers of volunteers and visitors who make the River Festival a genuine community event. He also writes of the unique River Festival spirit, which is as strong as ever today even as the event has grown to become one of the biggest free festivals in the country. Here's the full text of the column:

"The final preparations are underway for the 2014 Bedford River Festival, which is taking place this Saturday and Sunday.

The River Festival was founded in 1978 to celebrate the opening of a navigable route between Bedford and the coast, and we can we be proud of the way that over the years it has grown to become one of the country's biggest free family events, while still retaining its unique spirit.

That unique river festival spirit is found across the huge festival site. It is represented by the sports club volunteers running sessions for children, the local performers on the music stages, the camaraderie and spectacle provided by the Carnival Parade on Sunday and by the rafts which seem to stay afloat through sheer will power!

This year's event promises even more fun and free activities than last time, in 2012, when over 300,000 people enjoyed the festivities. On that occasion, you may recall that the event took place just before the Olympics, and we had to book the porta-loos very early to make sure there were enough! There have been no such issues this time, thankfully, and I've got my fingers crossed for good weather!

One of many highlights of the festival is the historical village on and around Castle Mound. This year, to commemorate 100 years since the outbreak of World War One, it will be taking visitors back to that time, with features and activities helping to tell the story of life on the Home Front and in the trenches.Mayor Dave -

It is the vast number of volunteers and visitors who make the River festival what it is: a genuine community event. If you are involved at all over the weekend or are planning to come out and enjoy the breadth of attractions on offer, I hope you have a fantastic time."