Right Royal Riverfest

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 – 19 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.

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.

Local dance groups will be and delighting the crowds with their beautiful costumes and talented performances.

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 and Captain Jack.  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.