Right Royal Riverfest on Saturday 19th May
Newport’s popular Riverfest is preparing to set sail again, as this popular annual event enters its 11th 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 Isle of Wight Council, Southern Co-operative funeralcare, Southern Water, will take place on the Royal Wedding Day -Saturday 19th May. Local food and drink, arts and crafts will be available from Isle of Wight businesses and charities.
Riverfest is a celebration of the Isle of Wight’s beautiful water-courses and in particular the five flowing through Newport. Island Rivers will be in attendance to tell people about their work across the Island and opportunities to get involved. This year the main activity along the Medina has been the restoration of the cement kilns at Dodnor, and Gift to Nature will be displaying a selection of historic photos. They are very keen to meet people whose relatives worked at the site.
Local dance groups will be and delighting the crowds with their beautiful costumes and talented performances. There will be a screening of the Frank Sinatra classic film ‘The Joker Is Wild’ and Seafaring music of Captain Paul and the Shipmates at Quay Arts.
Pirate Captain Nash, will be swaggering along, giving talks and displays relating to the life on the seas in Georgian times. There will be fire power display and a sword school, and gory details of surgery aboard ship!
Professional Pirates will be there, a brand-new company to the Island hoping to bring adventure back to the Solent! Could you survive the 18th Century on the high seas? Come and talk to us to find out! Have a go with their desktop nerf canons, are you a sharp-shooting swashbuckler or a lousy landlubber? Buy a t-shirt and tell the world you’re a Professional Pirate!
Vectis Corps of Drums will start the entrainment by marching along the quay at 11am, accompanied by the Enchanted Isle Princess. 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.
Quay Arts is bringing even more entertainment and activities during the day and into the evening.
This year as we salute the 100 year anniversary of the RAF and their major role in the Second World War, with the arrival of RAF High Speed Launch 102. The boat commissioned in 1936, is the only 100 class high speed launch to survive. The inspiration behind these RAF rescue craft was Aircraftsman T E Shaw, better known as Lawrence of Arabia. HSL 102 was purchased by the Portsmouth Naval Base Property Trust with the aid of a grant from the National Heritage Memorial Fund. It is to be restored to her wartime condition and preserved for the benefit of future generations.
Riverfest gives a warm welcome to local Royal British Legion branches and their Riders section who will be showing their fantastic array of veteran, vintage and classic motorcycles. Amongst their ranks are former RAF personnel.
Wightlink Warriors will be at Riverfest displaying their bikes too and promoting Speedway racing.
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 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 hog roast and delicious burgers made from local meat, plus veggie burgers.
The Monergy project from the Footprint Trust will be at Riverfest offering free home visits to reduce energy and water bills. Seek out their Orange Gazebo and get guidance on Switching energy, as British Gas and other utility companies are about to put up prices.
Community Action will be selling cakes from the popular Scarrots Lane Bakery and their Sabirian brand fairly traded goods. The Riverside Centre will be selling a range of local beers, including Isle of Wight Pride along with teas, coffees and soft drinks, food will be available, plus pies and jacket potatoes and other tasty treats.
No one attending Riverfest will miss out on the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle as the event will be screened in the Riverside Centre’s Trafalgar Room on a massive screen.
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.
Looking after the water environment is a very important message linked to Riverfest. Southern Water will be at the event promoting water efficiency.
“We’re delighted to be at Riverfest this year. Fun, engaging community events like this give us a fantastic opportunity to talk to our customers in a face-to-face environment; to find out their views on big issues like our what they think our priorities should be for the next five years, what’s important to them and to give them the opportunity to help shape our business plan.”
“Of course, we’ll also have lots of information available to help our customers save water, energy and money, and we’ll be handing out freebies as well. And this year, for the first time, people will have the opportunity to experience our first virtual reality film!” Said Beverley Thompson of Southern Water.
Newport’s annual Riverfest is the largest free community event in Newport attracting some 4,000 people. Note just people will enjoy Riverfest as Pet Food Suppliers will be on hand to offer tasty, healthy treats for pets.
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.
For more details please contact The Footprint Trust on 01983 822282 or