Issue date: 19th June 2014
If you are wondering whether to go to Stratford-upon-Avon this July, The Inland Waterways Association (IWA) thinks there are a number of reasons why you should.
Celebrations will be taking place across Warwickshire in 2014 to mark the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth. This year, IWA is also celebrating significant anniversaries relating to the restoration of the Stratford-upon-Avon Canal and the Upper Avon in Warwickshire.
Which adds up to 450 reasons to take advantage of the waterways which have been restored and campaigned for by IWA, and navigate to Stratford this summer.
The 2014 Stratford River Festival, taking place on 5th - 6th July, will be held on the banks of the River Avon, opposite the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. On Friday 4th July there will be events to celebrate the two waterways anniversaries, plaques unveiled, and speeches at Bancroft lock, together with a floating orchestra on the Avon.
The event will include an exhibition of historic photographs from the 1964 and 1974 periods, put on by IWA, The Stratford upon Avon Canal Society and Canal & River Trust. There will also be music, craft and food stalls, family zone, charity stalls, illuminated boat parade, spectacular fireworks and the widest spectrum of inland waterway craft to be seen anywhere on the system.
Les Etheridge, IWA National Chairman said "This year, we have been provided with a brilliant opportunity to celebrate and build on our long history of campaigning for our inland waterways. Anniversary events taking place for waterway restoration successes, which were led or supported by IWA, have enabled us to increase awareness, momentum and support for restoration groups, and champion the restoration of waterways across the country, for future generations to enjoy."
Roger Clay, speaking on behalf of The Stratford & Warwick Waterways Trust said "The festival will be a great occasion, with great food and great music in a stunning riverside setting."
Photo: Stratford River Festival (credit Jeanne Smith) - download image from Flickr
Find out more on the Stratford River Festival website
Photo: Stratford River Festival (credit Jeanne Smith)
Download image from Flickr