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All systems go for 2012 River Festival!

Further information on the 2012 River Festival, including a full timetable and map


The Great Summer of events in Bedford Borough continues this weekend with the 2012 Bedford River Festival taking place this Saturday and Sunday.


Work is well underway across the Embankment and Russell Park in preparation for the arrival of approximately 300,000 people across the weekend.


The River Festival parade kicks off the weekend from midday on Saturday as it travels from De Parys Avenue and down the High Street. The parade is always a vibrant and colourful way to start the weekend and this year will be no different with floats and groups from across Bedford Borough and the UK celebrating.


From there, the action shifts towards the Embankment and Russell Park as the first heats of the Dragonboat races take over the river. Elsewhere there will be:


- A flyover by a Dakota fighter plane at 3.10 and 6.30pm on Saturday
- Heritage Village at Castle Mound offering Ancient Greece Horse-Riding display and Children’s Ancient Greek Drill Session
- Community Village with two performance stages, bar and food court and craft marquees
- Come and Try It sailing in the Water Sports Arena
- Try your hand at everything from martial arts to quasar and football at the Sports Village. The Rugby Football Union will also be on hand to offer advice and the chance to have a go.
- Over 150 market stalls, covering more than three-quarters of a kilometre along the Embankment. Selling local and international food and arts and crafts
- Live music and bands throughout the weekend. Battle of the Bands winner and runners up will be performing on Saturday. Saturday night includes local bands on the Community Stage. Main Stage on Saturday night includes ‘Flash’ Queen Tribute and Take That 2.
- Saturday night ends with a huge fireworks display over the River Great Ouse. For the first time you will be able to tune into the music accompanying the fireworks as it’s broadcast live by Bedford’s urban radio station in2beats on 106.5 FM
- Cheer the brave men and women who try their hand at the raft race on Sunday afternoon.
- Finally this year the festival draws to an end on Sunday evening with music from a special guest as ‘Elvis’ takes to the stage.
- Don’t forget, this year you can download the River Festival app for your iPhone!

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “The Bedford River Festival is one of the biggest free events in the country and attracts many thousands of people to Russell Park and the Embankment for a weekend of family fun.


“We all know the summer weather has been pretty awful so far and has led to many summer events across the country being cancelled. However, we are sending the message out loud and clear that the Bedford River Festival is going ahead! There is set to be a huge range of entertainment on offer for all the family across the festival site, with something for everyone to enjoy. I hope to see you there!”


Bus and train services will be running throughout the weekend, passengers are advised to check with operators before travelling.


The weather forecast looks set to remain changeable for the rest of the week and across the weekend. Visitors are asked to keep an eye on the weather forecast and dress appropriately.


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