Last May thousands of local people flocked to the Riverfest event on Newport’s historic Quay, making it the largest community event in the county town of the Isle of Wight. The sixth annual Riverfest is again to be organised by the Footprint Trust as a celebration of river and community life. There will be no admission charge and many children’s activities will be free. The date for your diaries is Saturday 25th May 2013 from 11am. Those attending are encouraged all those attending to use public transport or to walk or cycle.
A flotilla with vessels of all shapes, ages and sizes, will once again prove to be popular. The highlight of the day will be the arrival of a tall ship from The Little Brig Sailing Trust, a charity that operates the world’s smallest tall ships to provide the complete sailing experience to young people. The ship will be traditionally rigged with two masts, 10 sails, and one hundred ropes. We have heard that the notorious Wight Pirates – early 18th Century Pirate and Smuggler re-enactors – will be capturing a tall ship and then invading Riverfest – so watch out!
Cowes Sailability Club will be sailing along to Riverfest 2013 in the vessels Dougal and Zebedee. The club was formed to promote and facilitate water sports for Island people with disabilities. They have acquired the sailing boats a Caledonia Yawl and a Drascombe Longboat. In April 2009 they were proud to commission Dougal, the motor vessel specially modified for wheelchair users and those with limited mobility. Their RIB Zebedee provides patrol and safety support their activities afloat.
This year Riverfest will be hosting a charity fair, with over 30 local charities taking part. Their members will be on hand to explain their work and to celebrate their successes. They will also be hoping to raise funds to maintain their very important work.
There will be an array of local food, crafts and photography. Traditional cakes, ice cream, preserves and sweets will be on sale including the popular Isle of Fudge! For those wanting to indulge themselves and really pig out, Newport-based French Franks will have a hog roast on offer! Locally made occasional furniture will be on show along with t-shirts and paintings. Jewellery, candles, greeting cards and other handicrafts will be on offer.
Local business Engenius will be on hand to explain rainwater-harvesting and solar energy systems. Mike Stilgoe will be on hand to explain the advantages of low energy products. Shore Solutions plantsman Les Brown will be their advising on heritage plants that benefit wildlife, brighten up the garden and are drought tolerant.
Local community and voluntary groups along with water-based organisations will be present including; Ryde Inshore Rescue, Cowes Sea Cadets, Medina Valley Centre, Cowes Sailability, Maritime Volunteer Service, Medina Housing Association, People Matter, Community Action IW, YMCA, John’s Club, Ability Dogs 4 Young People, IW Society for the Blind, Adopt-A-Garden, IW Stroke Club, The Hampton Trust, Southern Housing Group, Natural Enterprise and Gift To Nature.
Traditional stalls will be at Riverfest 2013 alongside more modern attractions such as a bouncy castle and a massive slide! Dads can show themselves up by having a go on the cork rifle range!
The Medina Valley Centre’s Eco-Challenger will be on show – giving children the opportunity of seeing the fascinating creatures that lurk in the depths of the River. Estuary related fun for children of all ages will be on offer.
Gift to Nature and the Medina Valley Centre will be on hand to talk about the Island’s important habitats. The Centre is also arranging children’s activities with a green and messy theme!
Gift to Nature will also provide activities with their pavement chalks and the never-ending doodle pad for children wanting to try out some river-inspired art; the Newport Rivers Group will be on hand with information on Medina walks, and can help explain everything you ever needed to know about the ongoing Newport river restoration.
Visit the Southern Water ‘water café’ for a refreshing drink, useful freebies and lots of helpful information and advice on saving water. Water saving is still important despite the rain, is one of the important messages that The Footprint Trust, Environment Agency and Southern Water wish to get across.
“It is easy to be waterwise in the home by making a few simple changes to your routine, just follow these tips;
1. Make it a full load when you use your washing machine or dishwasher.
2. Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.
3. Only boil as much water as you need. By not overfilling the kettle you can cut its energy use by a third.”
Isle of Wight Events stewards will be guiding and assisting the public. The mobile police office will be on site with officers giving guidance on preventing crime.
More details will be made available nearer the time and will be published in the local media and on the web footprint-trust.co.uk. To find out more please contact Ray Harrington-Vail at the Footprint Trust on 01983 82-22-82 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s event is being supported by Newport Parish Council, Median Valley Centre, The Footprint Trust, Southern Water, Engenius and Natural Enterprise. First aid is provided by Event Medical, sponsored by FirstAid Training Executive.
“The Footprint Trust charity would like to thank for the help they receive from the Newport Harbour Master Wayne Pritchard and his staff. Free use of the public quay has been given by the Isle of Wight Council with support and help the Council’s Events Team.“
Said, Ray Harrington-Vail of The Footprint Trust.