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Riversway Festival cancelled for 2014

Posted on - 3rd July, 2014 - 7:00am | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Events, News, Riversway
Canal barges make their way into Preston to take their positions for the Riversway Festival

Canal barges make their way into Preston to take their positions for the Riversway Festival

Preston’s annual maritime spectacular will not take place this year.

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Last year’s Riversway Festival took place after a last-ditch team of volunteers, charities and local businesses stepped in but this has not happened.

Scott Billington, who was part of last year’s organising committee, said: “I have not been involved in this year’s event because the date that the canal boats wanted clashed with another event I am already booked on.”

Billington said he was now involved in putting together a dragon boat racing event on the Marina in August.

Ian Coupe, from the Shout Network who have helped support past festivals, said it was a “massive shame” the event could not take place.

He said: “We were keen to help this year, but the gentleman who handled the event last year was unable to commit. We looked at forming a new committee from businesses located around the docks but nobody stepped forward to take the lead.”

Coupe said a number of volunteers were now looking at making the event a biennial festival – taking place every other year.

Fireworks lit up Preston Dock for the Riversway Festival 2013

Fireworks lit up Preston Dock for the Riversway Festival 2013

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

Tim Joel, events manager at the city council, said: “A festival was organised by partners last year with the support of the Council, however no applications have been received for a festival this year.

“There has however been a number of events taken place on the Docks this year including the City Games Dragon Boat Race, UCLan university dragon boat race and the charity dragon boat completion planned for the 2 August organised by Derian House. Support and guidance is available to event organisers and further details can be found on the council’s website.”

The festival started in the mid-1990s and used to cost £27,000 to put on, a scaled down version of the event took place last year.

Have you been to the Riversway Festival? What do you think about the news? Let us know in the comments below

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