Sunday, 10 June 2012


This is a two-day family festival of music and fun on the banks of the River Soar. The annual Riverside Festival has grown into one of the city’s biggest free events, bringing live music, family activities and workshops and all the fun of the waterways to the heart of the city. The festival takes place on the mile straight of the river, Western Boulevard and in Bede Park. It's run by Leicester City Council and sponsored by local social landlord Riverside and ECHG.

I really like this event, not least because it all happens just around the corner from where I used to live for four years (2006-10). It's great for the kids of course - though I reserve the second day for myself - and the lovely food on offer.

Brightly decorated narrowboats take pride of place along the river (we can vote for our favourite). Decorated boats parade along the river and there are also activities involving boats ranging from coracles and canoes to a floating tea shop.

There's live music throughout the weekend. The photo above shows the WaterAid Choir. I know a few people who sing in that (though I couldn't point them out in the photo).

At the end of the second day, I have an interesting chat with two women from Ride Leicester (a Leicester City Council initiative): Fiona tells me about an occasion in her native Sydney, where members of faith communities had a Ride to Worship day, when community members swapped their cars for bikes; and Janet, who is nursing an idea for an organised bike ride round a variety of places of worship in Leicester. I give both of them my card and urge them to contact me so we can follow up on these ideas.

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