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You are here: Home Page > Council and Democracy > Council News > Archived News > July 2012 > 2012 River Festival

Thousands flock to 2012 River Festival

Tens of thousands of people enjoyed the sunshine at the 2012 Bedford River Festival this weekend along the Embankment and Russell Park.

 

Early indications show this was the busiest River Festival ever and attracted over 300,000 people throughout the weekend. In addition, more than 40 boats overcame poor weather earlier in the week to make it to the site.

 

Other facts and figures from the weekend include:

• Over 1,000 people took part in the parade
• As well as all the activity on the land and water the crowds were entertained by a Spitfire as it flew over on Saturday afternoon
• The first UK appearance of ‘Jet Boots Bob’ who wowed the crowds as he flew his water jet pack above the river
• 33 rafts started the raft races on Sunday
• 20 Dragonboat teams competed along the 350 metre course. The team from Gold’s Gym were the winners.
• It takes in excess of 5 days to deliver the infrastructure needed for the River Festival. However, it is all expected to be removed by Wednesday morning
• 5 miles of speaker cables criss-crossed the site
• 5 stages showcased more than 500 performers across the weekend
• The Viking Kayak Club used more than 1,000 glowsticks on the Illuminated Boat Parade on Saturday night
• …and Ancient Greeks took over Castle Mound

 

Alongside all those visiting the site to enjoy the sunshine and entertainment on offer an army of staff and volunteers were on site to keep the festival atmosphere going. Rubbish collection crews worked continuously across the weekend, removing more than 30 tonnes of rubbish, including clearing Russell Park and Mill Meadows of rubbish on Saturday, Sunday and Monday with the final clean up being completed on Tuesday.

 

Mayor of Bedford Borough, Dave Hodgson, said: “It was fantastic to see so many people enjoying the summer sunshine and all the entertainment on offer at the 2012 River Festival this weekend.

 

“The arrival of the summer was excellently timed and no doubt encouraged many people to come out with friends and family and enjoy the festivities. 

 

“It looks like we had more than 300,000 on site across the weekend, which is fantastic. The number of local people and groups involved, both working and enjoying themselves, shows the River Festival still retains its spirit as a community owned event and one we can all be proud of.”

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