Water great day!

Thousands of visitors enjoyed a fun and sun-filled day at the return of Waterside Festival, Aylesbury’s family-friendly canal event.

Welcomed back for its second year, the sun-drenched canal basin provided the perfect backdrop for all of the community festival’s excitement, with visitors being treated to a spectacular range of events last Saturday.

Paralympian Derek Derenalagi launched the day, encouraging festival-goers to try their hand at everything from free canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding sessions to wildlife activities and canal boat trips.

One mum of three said: ‘I had a great day, made even better by the glorious weather, and my kids really enjoyed making a crown as part of the wildlife activities.’

The festival combined a winning formula of both water and land-based activities and festival goers had a vast choice of events and activities on offer. The return of the floating market proved popular once again with those looking for a unique gift or special souvenir of the day and the festival also offered a mouth-watering food court to tingle taste buds.

There were stunning stage performances from Hartbeats Vitae African Drummers, Aylesbury Opera and many more.

Further additions to the exciting festival line-up included historical heritage walks, backstage theatre tours, BuDS chill-out zone and accessible children games and a glimpse into the many opportunities available at Bucks New University’s Aylesbury Campus.

Professor Nick Braisby, Vice-Chancellor of Bucks New University, said: ‘The Waterside Festival was once again a fantastic community event which we were proud to be a part of. It was a pleasure to welcome people in to our campus to see our excellent facilities, including our newly-installed nursing simulation wards, to try their hand at some of the state-of-the-art equipment we use, and gain an idea of the wide range of courses we offer.’

This event was the result of months of hard work with the aim of offering a community event at a little-known gem of Aylesbury’s town centre. It was co-ordinated by Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership, working with local businesses, organisations and councils, with support from  Aylesbury Garden Town, alongside Michael Graham and Durkan.

Councillor Bill Chapple, Chairman of Aylesbury Garden Town, said: ‘The Waterside Festival is the largest community based festival in Aylesbury and has once more proved an enormous success. Aylesbury Town Centre Partnership are to be commended for all their commitment and hard work to deliver such a well organised, enjoyable, inclusive free event.’

To find out more about the Waterside Festival, visit www.watersidefestival.org