Shoreham RiverFest set to begin

Shoreham RiverFest will take place on August 27-29. Organisers are hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of pirates
Shoreham RiverFest will take place on August 27-29. Organisers are hoping to break the Guinness World Record for the largest gathering of pirates

It’s been a top fixture of Shoreham’s calendar for the past four years.

And the Shoreham RiverFest is back for number five this bank holiday weekend.

The annual festival celebrating the River Adur will take place from August 27 to 29, with a variety of competitions to take part in – including the main event, the Dragon Boat Race.

Suzanne Heaven is chairman of the event. She said: “The festival is an exciting and positive way to get every member of the community involved.

“There is something for everyone so people of all ages and abilities can take part.

“This year is set to be our biggest and best yet and we have lots of new events.”

Any visitors to the event who possess a peg leg or a parrot are extra welcome, as organisers of the festival are taking on a swashbuckling world record this year.

Suzanne said: “We want everyone to dress up as pirates so we can prepare to challenge Hastings and steal their Guinness World Record title of the largest gathering of pirates, achieved by more than 14,000 participants, and bring it to West Sussex next year.

“We’ll be judging costumes from baby pirates to captain of the RiverFest and even looking for the best dressed dog pirate on the Saturday.”

The participants will gather on Coronation Green at 2pm on Saturday.

Events taking place at the festival include a photography competition, an artisan market, a treasure hunt, a nature walk, a pirate picnic, a river bike ride and live music held at venues around the town.

Contestants can also enter their cakes for the Great River Bake Off on the Saturday, arranged with the Shoreham & Southwick Rotary Club.

The festival’s main event is the Dragon Boat Race on the Sunday, where teams race in dragon-themed boats on the stretch of river between the Old Shoreham Toll Bridge and Norfolk Bridge.

James Parker, founder of Shoreham RiverFest, said: “We have more teams registered for the boat race – which I am taking part in – than ever before.

“It’s great to see the festival grow and develop year on year.

“It was started to focus on honouring the past, present and future importance of our beautiful river.

“Without the river, the town would probably not exist.

“There is a stack load of history surrounding the river going back hundreds of years.”

Run by volunteers, the festival supports Sussex Sailabilty, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and the Shoreham Lifeboat Station charity.

Festival wristbands are £2 and can be purchased at the Suter’s Yard pub in High Street, Shoreham.

For more details, click here.