Sunday, 1 July 2012

Stratford Rocks!

On Thursday I said I didn't think there were as many boats here as last year. I was wrong!  On Friday LOTS more arrived so this year there are more than ever.

Because of all the rain that had fallen "up country", the river level rose about 5 inches on Thursday night so that it was almost over the bank.  The EA opened the sluice gates to regulate it and we're back down to a more comfortable level again.

Apart from the usual narrowboats and cruisers attending the festival, there were other types of boats here too.

Unlike an IWA National or Crick Boat Show, the Stratford River Festival isn't just about boats.  It's a free festival for the town and boy do they know how to throw a party! 

During the day there were Morris Dancers in all shapes and sizes performing near Bancroft Basin lock.

From 12.00 onwards there were lots of bands performing on the bandstand. There was music to suit everyone's taste; a Ukulele band, A Jazz band, an Acoustic duo and a female soloist. As the day wore on more and more people thronged around the band stand area, many bringing chairs and picnics. By early evening there must have been a couple of thousand people there and the food and drink stalls were doing a roaring trade catering for everyone.  The blues band "Soul Patch" were on at 7.00 and got everyone rocking ready for the highlight of the day which was the last band "Texan Peacocks" who had everyone up dancing, including me.

When the music finished at 10.00 it was time for the illuminated boats parade.

This was definitely the best. They're moored just in front of us and it took the owner 2 days to fix all these lights.

At 10.30 the fireworks started and again they were better than last year, and that's saying a lot. They were FANTASTIC!

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