THE sun has come out for the first time in weeks as Bedford River Festival came to town.
The fun kicked off at around 11.30am when around 30 vehicles, dancers, cheeleaders and walkers made their way from De Parys Avenue to The Embankment.
The fun then kciked off at Russell Park with bands taking to the various stages, numerous local stalls attracting visitors, games,rides and lots more.
Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson said so far the festival has gone brilliantly.
He told the Times & Citizen: “It’s so good to see so many people with smiles on their faces.
“We had a really good turnout for the Olympic Torch Relay and the Jubilee, but because the sun is shining that has really made everyone happy I think.
“We had a lot of poeple come quite early, i think because they were scared it would start raining again, and it has been really busy all day.
“The last festival had about 330,000 people and I think this year we have beaten that.
“I look around and I’m seeing people with a drink in their hand and a smile on their face. Everyone is having a great time.”
Local businesses, charities and community groups all set up stalls throughout the Russell Park.
Ryan Flecknell, managing director of Bedford Prebend Day Centre, which supports vulnerable adults, says his stall has attracted a constant stream of visitors.
He said: “We have got an information stand to raise public awareness of the work we do in the local community. We’ve got a tombola for adults and children and we are trying to sign up volunteers and monthly contributors.
“It kicked off about noon and since then we have been really busy. This is the first time in a while we have had a public forum. The river festival is such a great event, we’re really proud to be involved.”
Olympic torchbearer Iva Barr was also there, giving youngsters the chance to have their pictures taken with her.
Dragonboat racing is now going on all afternoon and tomorrow, An illuminated boat race is taking place at 10pm with a spectacular firework display at 10.30pm
Bands are playinmg onstage well into the evening and tomorrow.
If you haven’t been down yet, don’t worry there is still plenty more to to keep you entertained this afternoon, tonight and tomorrow.
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Weather for Bedford
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 15 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 7 C to 14 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North