Riverfest steams ahead with all guns blazing!

Newport’s popular Riverfest is preparing to set sail again, as this popular annual event enters its tenth 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 2017 event on Saturday 13th May. Local food and drink, arts and crafts will be available from Isle of Wight businesses.
This year we are working with Quay Arts to bring even more entertainment and activities during the day and into the evening.

Local dance groups will be and delighting the crowds with their beautiful costumes and talented performances. Historic boats will be on show from the Classic boat museum. The Crew of the Rose pirates will be coming along too, so watch out!

This year as we salute the members of the Royal Navy and their major role in the Second World War, with the arrival of Motor Gun Boat 81, which came into service in 1942 and saw action throughout the war and supported the D Day landings. The boat has been fully restored Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust to wartime condition, and preserved for the benefit of future generations.

The organisers are very pleased to announce that one of the Dunkirk ˜little ships’ will be returning to 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. 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 ship has just returned from France having taken part in filming of the new Christopher Nolan film ‘Dunkirk’ to be released this summer.

We also welcome the Royal British Legion Riders to the event with their fantastic array of veteran, vintage and classic motorcycles.

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.

Traditional fairground rides along with mega bubbles for children to enjoy will all be part of the fun. Look out for the mega inflatable slide and delicious Plaza ice creams and the ever popular Isle of Wight Bacon and lots of other local tasty flavours and treats.

Vectis Corps of Drums will start the entrainment by marching along the quay at 11am, accompanied by the Enchanted Isle Princess and Captain Jack.

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, a family friendly dancing group which have been established for over 25 years.

PJ’s Theatre School Singers & Dancers will also be performing at the event. The school provides young people and children with a strong foundation in singing, dance, drama and mime. They cover most dance disciplines and cater for toddlers and teenagers! Salsa dancing will also be on show, and you will be given the opportunity to have a go too!

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.

Meanwhile at Quay Arts there is a free screening of nautical films. Starting off with; Pirates! An Adventure With Scientists. Accompanied by his ragtag crew, an enthusiastic pirate captain (Hugh Grant) sails the high seas and dreams of besting his bitter rivals, Black Bellamy and Cutlass Liz, in a quest to win the coveted title of Pirate of the Year.

The charming Ealing comedy The Maggie (1953) will also be shown. American businessman becomes involved with The Maggie, a rundown old shipping vessel when he is trying to find a way to convey his luggage to a remote island.

Quay arts presents free Live music from The Crew, an Island folk band The Crew produce a raw, rhythmic mixture of folk songs, sea shanties and Morris tunes to get your toes tapping.

Riverfest continues into the evening when at 7.30pm… Chalkpit Presents.Local record label Chalkpit presents 3 great live bands, great sound, great music, superb atmosphere. Tickets £5 from Quay Arts.

Newport’s annual Riverfest is the largest free community event in Newport attracting some 4,000 people. Riverfest is the only sustainable transport event on the Isle of Wight; those visiting are encouraged to walk, cycle, sail or use public transport.

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 there will be special events at Quay Arts too!

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 again this year. We will be there on the day with free 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 by the Isle of Wight Council in partnership with Amey. Keen recyclers can get involved by signing up to become Recycling Champions in their local community.

Riverfest is the only sustainable transport event on the Isle of Wight; those visiting are encouraged to walk, cycle, sail or use public transport. On hand will be 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. Bicycle Island will also be at the event promoting the their app which is helping to turn the Isle of Wight Cowes to Newport cycle route into the UK’s first SMART cycling corridor. The app also contains interesting information about the route, offers from local businesses and the ability to report problems along the route.

This year you can also bring along all those crutches and wheelchairs that you have been hording in your garden sheds! We will return them to St Mary’s Hospital, no questions asked!

For more details please contact The Footprint Trust on 01983 822282 or
email info@footprint-trust.co.uk