Riverfest 2014 – Boats, Crafts, Food and free Fun!

Riverfest 2014 is setting sail on Saturday 17th May 2014 from 11am to 3pm.

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 and charities.

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

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


On the 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. 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 led by Alice, a historic Thames sailing barge!

This year the Medina Valley Centre will be offering free sailing sessions 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.


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.

Coming on board this year is Vectis Sunrise Rotary Club, who will be proudly representing the Island’s Rotary clubs. Local coppice craftsman Frank Heap will be demonstrating an ancient polelathe, which were a popular sight 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.



Riverfest will be compered by Roderick Parkman of “Rod’s Sonic Sounds” mobile discos. There will be a demonstration of Isle of Wight Salsa and a chance to step up and have a go.

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.

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”.

Wight Stars will be offering entertainment with an interesting mix, including some musical theatre, drama workshop and circus skills for children of all ages.


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, fairtrade 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, traditionally 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 and much, much more!

 Many activities are free – so you don’t need to have money to have fun!