10:30am Thursday 19th July 2012
PERSHORE’S first River Festival was a “real success” despite some limitations because of the weather.
The festival attracted about 1,500 people on Saturday and up to 3,000 people on Sunday.
Narrowboats and cruisers moored up along the side of the Avon and there were displays from the Avon Navigation Trust and the south Worcestershire lifeguards.
Pershore’s Phoenix Dragon Boat Team were also in attendance with their boat – which featured in the Queen’s jubilee flotilla in London last month.
There was also a host of stalls and music in the Angel Inn’s riverside gardens.
Festival chairman Richard Grantham said some people had pulled out of the event because of the ground conditions, such as the funfair, and they were unable to hold the illuminated boat parade on Saturday because there was “too much water on the river”.
But he said: “Even though it’s been limited, it’s been a real success.”
Mr Grantham said he organised the festival following a visit to the river festival at Stratford last year.
He said: “I went and thought ‘this is such a good idea’. In the past, Pershore has turned its back on the river. The bit of land we used this weekend doesn’t get used enough.
“I actually think people need to use the riverside more. The boaters thought it was fantastic.”
Mr Grantham said the festival had also helped to build “very strong bridges”
between the organisations that attended.
He said: “They’ve really pushed forward for the future. I don’t think I’ve got any choice for next year.
Everyone said they were coming back.”
The success of the event follows the disappointment of the cancellation of Evesham’s River Festival which had been due to be held on the previous weekend, but high river levels meant the Avon was on red alert and the festival was stopped.
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