Riverfest 2016 sails ahead with Dunkirk spirit, hog roast and plenty of cake!

Newport’s popular Riverfest is ready to set sail again, as this popular annual event enters its ninth year. Set on Newport’s historic Quay, in the Isle of Wight’s picturesque market town local residents and visitors will enjoy and wide range of free entertainment.

Organised by the Island’s Footprint Trust charity and supported by Newport Parish Council the 2016 event on Saturday 21st May 2016 will feature a dramatic opening thanks to the Vectis Corps of Drums. Local food and drink, arts and crafts will be available from Isle of Wight businesses, including the very popular hog roast provided by the Isle of Wight Bacon Company. Delicious homemade cakes and fudge will also be on offer!

Local dance groups will be performing including students from Newport-based LVB dance studio, performing street and other modern dance. Traditional Ceri Irish Dancers will delight the crowds with their beautiful costumes and talented performances. Back by popular demand will be Short & Sweet, the dynamic comperes and all-round entertainers.

Vectis Radio will be broadcasting live from Riverfest, one of the many organisations taking part that are based at the nearby Riverside centre. Sunrise hospital radio will for the first time be using alive link from the Quay, so that patients and staff at St Mary’s can experience this popular annual event.

A highlight for this year’s Riverfest will be the arrival of one of the world’s smallest tall ships T.S. Caroline Allen from the Little Brig Sailing Trust, based in Gosport.

Historic boats will be on show from the Classic boat museum. A police launch will also be sailing up the Medina, no doubt to keep an eye on the Crew of the Rose pirates and the Wolfguard Vikings. Cowes Sailability Club will be sailing to Riverfest on their interesting crafts, Dougal and Zebedee!

The organisers are very pleased to announce that one of the Dunkirk ˜little ships’ will be attending Riverfest. The Papillon motor yacht was one of the armada of sea craft that rescued stranded British and French troops from the beaches of Dunkirk in the darkest days of WW2. The gallant efforts of their crews, and the Royal Navy, helped save over 300,000 servicemen. A plaque on Newport Quay records the names of the Isle of Wight’s little ships that took part in what was given the codename Operation Dynamo.

The crew from Medina Valley Centre will be helping young people explore the fascinating creatures of the deep that can be found in the mud of the wildlife-rich River Medina. You will also have a chance to paddle your own canoe and discover the many courses and activities offered by the Centre for young people.
Looking after the water environment is a very important message linked to Riverfest.

Southern Water will be at the event promoting water efficiency. Yasmin Sanders, Southern Water’s Community Campaigns and Engagement Officer, said: “We are extremely pleased to be supporting Riverfest 2016 again this year. We will be there on the day with giveaways and information to help our customers save water and keep drains clear. Pop by and say hi to our lovely team.”

Newport’s annual Riverfest is the largest free community event in Newport attracting some 4,000 people. This year’s focus will be on promoting the greatly improved domestic recycling initiative, launched recently by the Isle of Wight Council in partnership with Amey. Keen recyclers can get involved by Becoming Recycling Champions in their community. The trend upcycling café will be at the event, look out for their Frisbees and boomerangs made from recycled plastic!

Riverfest is the only sustainable transport event on the Isle of Wight; those visiting are encouraged to walk, cycle, sail or use public transport. This year a new enterprise set up Islander Nick Blake, who has set up Island Bikeworks – a mobile repair service. Nick will be on hand to offer cycle safety checks and guidance on how to repair your bike, or you could just book him to do it. For those who want an easier way to get around then have a go on a lithium battery-assisted powerbike.

If you would like to see your old bicycle go to a good home, then bring it along and donate it to Recycle Bikes for Africa. You can also find out about computer reclamation and recycling.

Newport residents will be able to sign-up to the new Emergency Wardens scheme, which Newport Parish Council has just announced, to help prevent flooding and give assistance in emergencies.

Dozens of local charities will be in attendance for visitors to support, and to find out about the many positive projects they are involved in to help improve island life.

This year’s event has been made possible thanks to support from; Newport Parish Council. Community Action IW, Southern Co-operatives, Amey and the Isle of Wight Council along with SSE, HSS, Vectis Sunrise Rotary and the Richmond Fellowship at Quay House. We are particularly grateful to IW Event Stewards for assisting Riverfest over many years.

For more details please contact The Footprint Trust on 01983 822282 or

email info@footprint-trust.co.uk