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Preston’s maritime festival is sunk for this summer

Racing ahead: Dragon boats at the 2013 Riversway Festival

Racing ahead: Dragon boats at the 2013 Riversway Festival

Preston’s annual Riversway Festival will not take place this year, council chiefs have confirmed.

Last year’s maritime spectacular at Preston Docks only took place after volunteers stepped in at the last minute.

Funding from Preston City Council for the event was cut after the 2012 Preston Guild.

Now it appears no-one has been able to take over the mantle and stage the event this summer.

Tom Joel, the council’s events manager, said: “A festival was organised by partners last year with the support of the council, but no applications have been received for a festival this year.

“There has however been a number of events taking place on the docks this year including the Preston City Games Dragon Boat Race, UCLan university dragon boat race and the charity dragon boat completion planned for August 2 organised by Derian House.”

Mr Joel said support and guidance was available to event organisers and further details could be found on the council’s website.

The Riversway Festival began in the mid-1990s as a self-funded fund-raising event for the Ribble Link, which was completed in 2002.

It grew from an event mainly involving Preston’s boating community to encompass the wider city.

Preston Council began to fund the event in 2004 as part of Preston International City Festival.

Cuts to Preston Council’s budget sounded the death knell for the festival, but the local community had other plans. They scraped together a quarter of the usual £27,000 budget and held a two-day event featuring events on the water and a host of family attractions.

 

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