Riverfest 2011 latest news…

Last May some 4,000 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 fourth 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 21st May 2011 from 12 noon.

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!

There will be an array of local food and crafts. The Isle of Wight Bacon Company will be providing catering and refreshments featuring local free range pork direct from their Godshill farm and Isle of Wight Beef Burgers.

Local community and water-based organisations will be present including Newport Rowing Club and the Medina Valley Centre. Medina Mariners Association members will also be on hand to show the popular Mirror Dinghy. This little boat has been around since 1962 and over 70,000 have been built. It is named after the Daily Mirror newspaper and was designed by Jack Holt and TV do-it-yourself expert Barry Bucknell.

Traditional Victorian funfair stalls will be at Riverfest 2011, including a coconut shy, archery and swinging boats. The IW Council’s Play Rangers will be organising play activities with a watery theme. The Medina Valley Centre’s Eco-Challenger will be on show – giving children the chance of making toys powered by the sun and seeing the fascinating creatures that lurk in the depths of the River. Estuary related fun for children of all ages will be on offer.

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 info@footprint-trust.co.uk

This year’s event is being supported by Newport Parish Council, Southern Water and Natural Enterprise, as part of their enhancing nature programme to improve a prominent section of the Medina, funded by the SITA Trust.

“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, the Countryside Service and Island Tourism… “

Said Ray Harrington-Vail of the Footprint Trust.


Editors Notes…

The River Medina has a long history, and once carried goods into the New Port, which served the Island’s capital – Carisbrooke. Today the River and its banks are important habitats for rare and interesting wildlife and a place for recreation and leisure. The Riverfest will celebrate the heritage, community, businesses and wildlife associated with this historic river. Riverfest 2011 will be a fun family event focusing on the Medina. It is being organised by the Footprint Trust, a local educational charity.

The event aims to achieve the following;

· Raise awareness of the environmental and leisure benefits of the water environment

· Promote sustainable water use and conservation of wetland habitats

· To promote organisations and businesses with an interest in the River Medina