Riverfest – Boats, Crafts, Food and free Fun!

Riverfest 2014 is setting sail on Saturday 17th May 2014 from 11am to 3pm, thanks to support from the local Southern Co-operative, Newport Parish Council, Vectis Sunrise Rotary and Southern Water.

Last year’s event attracted over 4,000 people and we expecting to exceed this for 2014! This free event is now the largest community event in Newport! It is also the largest family-friendly event in Newport, with lots of free and interesting things for children to see and take part in. Riverfest has a focus on supporting and promoting local arts and crafts.

This year visitors are being encouraged to come dressed as Mermaids or Pirates!
There will also be prizes for the best dressed Mermaid and Pirate!

We have just heard that the notorious “Wight Pirates” (early 18th Century Pirate and Smuggler re-enactors) will be invading Riverfest – so watch out!

The Footprint Trust, who have organised the last three Riverfests, and have announced their biggest event ever! People are being encouraged to walk, cycle or sail to the event, and to leave their cars at home as there will be no parking allowed at the quay.

On Water

The River Medina is navigable from Cowes. On the 17th May 2014 the tide will be high enough to enable boats to visit Newport Quay from about 11:00 hrs to 16:00hrs, depending upon their size.

We are particularly keen to welcome all the historical vessels who are to sail along to the event, but we also welcome the modern crafts too…” Said the organiser Ray Harrington-Vail.

A whole range of sailing craft will be assembling at the Folly Inn, on the Medina River at 11am where they will then set sail at 12 noon lead by Alice, a historic Thames sailing barge!

The River Medina is the home of the Uffa Fox-designed class boats; it’s where his design office was based and where Fairlee Marine was also based which built many of his classic designs. All owners of these boats have been invited to join the flotilla, along with modern and other historic sailing craft.

This year the Medina Valley Centre’s will be offering free rides on the Medina as part of the RYA (Royal Yachting Association) “Push the Boat Out”; a national weekend of sailing and windsurfing. People are invited to come along and ‘have a go’ at sailing with an experienced sailor. Whether you are a regular sailor, new to the sport or simply want a day out with the family, Push the Boat Out provides the perfect opportunity for everyone to get out on the water and celebrate a national weekend of sailing. Also look out for Cowes Sailability Club and their interesting craft.

On land you will be able to see craft from the Classic Boat Museum, the Maritime Volunteer Service and a rescue boat from Ryde Inshore Lifeboat.

Natural Enterprise will be promoting how people can get involved in looking after our local rivers. The Island River Partnership has had three successful meetings recently and a number of projects are now underway across the Island. In addition, they will be promoting Plant Positive, an initiative to remove invasive non-native plants from our riverbanks. Himalayan Balsam is a particular problem and adversely affects our native plants and also water-voles. People can sign-up to take part in the annual Balsam Blitz. The local charity will also be promoting their Gift To Nature project and will be selling a number of local publications at bargain prices. Free copies of their Mill Trail publication will be available whilst stocks last.

On Land

On land new things will be happening too!
Coming on board this year is Vectis Sunrise Rotary Club, who will be proudly representing the Island’s Rotary clubs.
Belonging to a Rotary Club gives men and women an enjoyable and organised way to make a contribution to their community and make a positive difference across the world. The club is made up of enthusiastic, fun loving and active people from all walks of life, many of whom have busy working lives. Employed or retired, male or female, young or old, the common bond is a wish to help others, meet new friends and make a difference to the lives of those less fortunate. We get together on a weekly basis to share ideas, pool skills and raise money, not only for underprivileged people around the world, but also for local people and organisations. All our members also enjoy the active social and sporting life of the club. Vectis Sunrise Rotary Club meets for breakfast at the Riverside Centre every Wednesday morning throughout the year. If you would like to have further information on the Rotary organisation or would like to join them for breakfast, then please call Jeremy Dale on 539530. www.vectisrotary.org

Local coppice craftsman Frank Heap will be demonstrating traditional woodland crafts – a popular site in Island woodlands until the 1930s. You can also watch him whittle children’s toys made out of local wood, including some special Riverfest boats.

Coming right up to date we have Wight Karting, the Islands latest destination attraction will be demonstrating one of their new 270cc Honda Powered Karts that reflects just some of their £450,000 investment in the new Ryde based Go-Karting Circuit which at over 500m long is the longest and one of the most technical circuits in the country. In addition, visitors to Riverfest can enter an exclusive competition to win one of a number of special VIP Passes to Wight Karting to experience the very best in Karting for themselves.

Bodster Equine Assisted Learning CIC will be at Riverfest this year too, they run sessions for anyone aged 6 years to 90 years where, whatever their experience they can interact in a safe fun environment on the ground with their small herd of ponies using Natural Horsemanship techniques and develop self-confidence and self-esteem. www.eaqbodster.co.uk

The event will be compared by Roderick Parkman of “Rod’s Sonic Sounds” mobile discos. Roderick has been an Island DJ for over 30 years DJing at some of the top Island night spots. He has also had a very successful mobile disco career and continues to cater for events such as Weddings, Birthdays etc. He is also a Salsa instructor and can bring a Latin flavour to your event. Mobile: 07837044748

Roderick is also the founder of “Isle of Wight Salsa”. The club has been very successful for over 8 years and continues to flourish under a non-profit committee. There will be a demonstration of Isle of Wight Salsa in action and a chance to step up and have a go! Isle of Wight Salsa holds weekly classes at the Balcony Night club on Tuesday nights. See www.isleofwightsalsa.co,uk or fb isleofwightsalsa

Roderick is also hosting a Salsa Weekender for the Trouville Hotel, Sandown on the 31st October to 2nd November. This is for absolute beginners as well as more accomplished salsa dancers. See www.wightsalsaweekender.co.uk for more details.

This year’s event will be opened by Vectis Corps of Drums, who will also be performing during the day; there will also be other musical performances throughout the event. www.facebook.com/vectiscorpsofdrums

LVB Dance Co, who specialise in hip hop, street dance, break dancing, contemporary, modern and contemporary ballet will also be in attendance. Children and adults alike can interact with dancers and be shown various dance techniques. There will also be a preview of their latest showcase “Zombie Circus” which you can see at Shanklin Theatre on Monday 23rd June. LVB Dance has a Dance Academy and holds professional classes and also outreach services for all ages and abilities (3-65 years!) across the island and has recently opened their very own mirrored studio in central Newport.

As a Professional Commercial Street Dancer in the music industry, Linda Vincenta Byrne has been contracted for TV, festivals, music videos and corporate events both in the UK and abroad. She moved to the island 18 months ago to set up the company which provides both professional training at the Academy and dance fitness classes for those who just want to shift a few extra pounds. Classes are fun, friendly and everyone is welcome. For further information please contact Linda on 07535 655338 or linda@lvbdance.com

Wight Stars will be offering entertainment with an interesting mix, including some musical theatre, drama workshop and circus skills for children of all ages. Since 2012, they have given over 500 young people the chance to use theatre to better their lives. Their training, customer service, friendly nature and fully qualified, experienced staff put Wight Stars at the forefront of community theatre. Their Mission is to reach out to young people through the magic of theatre, helping them overcome the barriers and disadvantages in life, enabling them to unlock and utilise the potential that lies within every child. www.wightstars.co.uk

Claydon Connor – Claydon Connor’s music always tells a story. His forthcoming album, due for release early summer is a perfect blend of roots Americana, with a hint of classic English pop, combining all his influences to create a sound that is both honest and infectious. An accomplished musician currently based on the Isle of Wight Claydon plays guitar and harmonica which feature throughout; add to that the delights of mandolin, Hammond organ and pedal steel guitar and you have an album that will hook you in from start to finish.
You’ll find yourself toe tapping along to uplifting tempos one minute, and moved by heartfelt soul searching stories the next.

Claydon’s latest release, ‘The Kind Of Man I Am’ features on the album, along with ‘Just Another Lover’ released last year “ I’m really excited about the new album, it’s a move on musically for me and I can’t wait to share it; I hope people will really connect with it.” Claydon has an instant stage presence engaging his audience from start to finish; his enthusiasm and obvious enjoyment of playing live coupled with his talent for writing great songs makes him a powerful act to watch. A real treat for the crowds at Riverfest 2014. www.liveisland.co.uk

Food & Drink!

Visit The Food Circle – on The Green! This year much more food and drink will be on offer catering for all tastes ranging from burgers to Ice cream and the favourite IW Hogroast, all washed down with fair-trade teas and coffee. A range of tasty vegetarian and vegan food will also be on sale. Traditional cakes, ice cream, preserves and sweets will also be on sale including the popular Isle of Fudge! With our dedicated eating area you will be able to try a Pizza, traditional cooked in a stone oven, fired by wood.

Things to See and do!

For the kids there will be an adventure of activities from bouncy castles, coconut shy, striker ‘test your strength’ game to face painting and glitter tattoos. Investigate the creatures that lurk in the mud on the Medina and do some brass rubbing. Have a go at canoeing, cork shooters penalty shoot-out, mega slide and circus skills much, much more! Many activities are free – so you don’t need to have money to have fun!

Shore Solutions plantsman Les Brown will be their advising on heritage plants that benefit wildlife, brighten up the garden and are drought tolerant.

The organisers are being assisted by Isle of Wight Event Stewards, along with some new recruits – the junior PCSO scheme based at Nine Acres Primary School. The children are selected through an application and interview process and take part mainly because they enjoy community work and helping people but also because they might like to do a similar job when they are older. The project is now starting to look at getting involved in more community events and to raise the profile of what are junior PCSO’s have been doing and what they could be doing in the future, hence their very welcomed involvement in Riverfest. The junior PCSO’s will be directing the public and keeping an eye on litter and generally being helpful!

Other young people’s organisations will also be at Riverfest, including members of the Guides. Girlguiding offers a safe and girl-only space where girls and young women can have a voice on relevant topics.

Ding! Ding! With those who like remembering the good old days of Newport, there will be the “Old Girl” in attendance, the oldest bus in England, which is still in public service. This Southern Vectis bus, which came into service in 1932, was converted to an open top over 50 years ago. It has served on a number of routes on the Island and been enjoyed by thousands of tourists over the years. The ideal bus to hire for a wedding or special occasion! She will be joined by a not so quite old Daimler Fleetline bus, which entered service in 1971 for Hants and Dorset bus co, and was mainly be used around the Poole area. At Riverfest she will be hosting a fine fare of tasty vegetarian foods.

For those with an interest in recycling and up-cycling then they will be in for a treat. Digital Recycle will be offering a range of reconditioned top quality computers and laptops from £50. Reclaimed furniture, household items and bric-a-brac will also be on offer, along with designer bags made from old vinyl records.

Footprint Trust

The Footprint Trust will be at the event promoting their WarmerWight-plus project, which gives free guidance on reducing energy and water bills. They will be launching a special appeal at Riverfest, encouraging local people to help other Islanders escape fuel poverty, by donating money to help pay for new efficient boilers.
People will also have the opportunity, for the first time, to give loose change to help fund Riverfest and The Footprint Trust’s many projects based here on the Island. In return the Trust will be giving away a specially created Riverfest badges!

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.

Support & Promotions

Newport Parish Council. The parish council serves seven wards, Carisbrooke, Newport Central, Newport East, Newport North, Newport South, Newport West and Parkhurst. If there any items you wish to discuss further, please contact the Clerk or your local Parish Councilor.
Maxine Yule, Clerk of Newport Parish Council said: ‘’Newport Parish Council has supported this fun and informative event since 2010 and we are delighted to continue the support this year.’’ http://www.newportwight.org.uk/

The Southern Cooperative has always had a purpose beyond simply making profit and is committed to being a responsible and sustainable business. We are an independent cooperative owned by our 145,000 plus members, with over 200 food stores and funeral homes across southern England. We are a strong advocate for local food and drink, working with local farmers and producers to grow our ‘Local Flavours’ range (which stands at 1200 lines selling across nine counties), as well as our support for local food community networks.

Gemma Lacey, Head of Sustainability at The Southern Co-operative, which is supporting Riverfest, said: “The Southern Cooperative has always had a purpose beyond simply making profit and is committed to being a responsible and sustainable business. As well as reducing the environmental impact of our own food stores and funeral care business, we’re keen to support our local communities to be more environmentally sustainable, which is why we’re pleased to be part of Riverfest.” www.thesouthernco-operative.co.uk

Andy Shaddick, Public Affairs Manager at Southern Water said: “Southern Water is delighted to support the Riverfest event and partner with the Footprint Trust. The roadshow team will be on hand to meet our customers and give out lots of helpful information, advice and freebies on saving water and keeping drains working properly.”

The Footprint Trust would like to acknowledge and thank for all their help with this event; Newport Harbour Master, Wayne Pritchard and his staff.
Permission to use the public quay has been given by the Isle of Wight Council with support and help from the Council’s Events Team. “ Ray Harrington-Vail of the Footprint Trust.


Organiser Ray Harrington-Vail.
Those wanting to find out more about Newport Riverfest can visit the Footprint Trust’s website
https://www.footprint-trust.co.uk/riverfest.html or phone 01983 822282 or email ray@footprint-trust.co.uk