Riverfest’s free fun for all the family

Riverfest the annual free community event will take place on Saturday 16th May in the heart of the Isle of Wight, at the historic Newport Quay. The event has all the feel of a traditional village fete, with many free activities for children.

Local charities will be attending promoting the work they do in the community, helping people and the local environment. You can find out about the Island’s unique ecology and discover what lurks in the mud in the Medina river, thanks to the crew from the Medina Valley Centre!

Those visiting might wish to have a paddle in a canoe, but they will have to look out for the notorious Wight Pirates and the Wolfgang Vikings!

There is no entrance fee as the Quay is owned by the IW Council, who support this event by not charging for its use. The event is sponsored by The Southern Co-operative, with Newport Parish Council giving ongoing financial support.

Gemma Lacey, Director Sustainability & Communications at The Southern
Co-operative, which is supporting Riverfest, said:

“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, and this is why we’re pleased to be part of Riverfest.”

” The Southern Co-operative has always had a purpose beyond just making a profit and is committed to being a responsible and sustainable business.
We are an independent co-operative owned by our 150,000 members, with nearly 200 food stores and funeral branches across southern England. We are a
strong advocate of local food and drink, working with local farmers and producers to expand our ‘Local Flavours’ range – sourcing more than 350 products from over 30 local producers on the Island alone – as well as our support for local food community networks. The opening of our new Freshwater store – a flagship store for our Local Flavours range – sees an even wider range of local food and drink under one roof; with regular opportunities to meet suppliers in store and enjoy tastings.”

Riverfest is organised by The Footprint Trust, a local charity, which promotes sustainable living.

Young people are at the centre of this event and perform at it and take an active role in many of the organisations taking place. Dance demonstrations proved very popular last year, so visitors will be pleased to see students from the LVB Dance Company of Newport, putting on vibrant energetic performances of modern and contemporary dance.

When walking to Riverfest visitors will pass trend, the UK’s first upcycling youth café – they will be at Riverfest this year selling things made from discarded materials.

A full programme of this year’s events will be announced in mid-April.

Local traders support the event so that you can enjoy local food and drink, ranging from ice cream to vegetarian and meaty delights, along with cakes and sweets. Arts and crafts are also available at very reasonable prices.

Renewable technology also features at the event along with information on sustainable transport, such as cycling and public transport. You can also try your skills on a rifle range, have a go on a bouncy castle and test your strength on a traditional fairground striker!

Historical boats from the Classic Boat Museum http://www.classicboatmuseum.org/museum.asp will be on show, along with vessels of all shapes and sizes that sail to this popular event.

“We encourage everyone who can to walk, cycle or sail to Riverfest, leaving their car at home. Buses stop nearby too, and all buses lead to Newport. The event is a short walk from the bus station, and is served by footpaths and a cycle route. We all need to drive less and see more”

Said Ray Harrington-Vail, the event’s organiser.
The event focuses on the historic river Medina, internationally important for wildlife but also a great place to navigate by boat, or walk or cycle along its picturesque banks. Historically, a harbour and quay and a place of boat building and industry. Today boats are still repaired and serviced along its banks and quayside, old power stations and industrial manufacturing have been replaced by new technology focusing on natural energy. The town’s name comes from it being the New Port for the original capital of Carisbrooke.

You can read more about Riverfest on the Footprint Trust’s website, https://www.footprint-trust.co.uk/riverfest.html

For the first time the event is being promoted in Hampshire and London, encouraging people to travel by public transport to visit Riverfest and other attractions, prior to the peak holiday season. This is part of the Drive Less – See More initiative.

The Trust’s website states,
“If you’re thinking of visiting the Island then make Riverfest part of your stay, fares from the mainland are generally cheaper at off-peak times, prior to the height of the tourist season. Many attractions are open and you can see what else the island has to offer on this site www.visitisleofwight.co.uk “

The event’s organiser Ray Harrington-Vail said,
“The Trust is very grateful to the Maritime Volunteer Service and the many volunteers who support the event, without which Riverfest would not happen. If you would like to get involved in fundraising, stewarding, organising etc please do get in touch.”

Riverfest 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 and the wider community

To sponsor this event or to find out about booking a stall please email ray@footprint-trust.co.uk or call Ray on 01983 822282.

Riverfest partner organisations
Big thanks go to our sponsors The Southern Co-operative, and those who give financial and other support including Newport Parish Council, Natural Enterprise and local businesses, such as the Odessa Boatyard, Engenius http://www.engenius.co.uk/ and Solar & Renewable http://www.solarandrenewable.co.uk/

The Footprint Trust is grateful for the support from many organisations, these include…