Beds River Festival to make a splash for their 40th year

Bedford River Festival is set to host its biggest ever event - as they mark their 40th anniversary this weekend.

Bedford River Festival
Bedford River Festival

The event, which takes place from July 14 to July 15, will feature their famous dragon boat races and parades down the River Great Ouse.

This year the festival will be expanding as St Mary’s Gardens hosts one of the six stages across the site, including live music, dancing and demonstrations.

To mark 100 years since the end of World War One, Castle Mound will have a variety of displays from the Royal Flying Corps.

Russell Park will host the festival’s live bands with The Scruff and The Wholls headlining before the traditional firework display on Saturday.

On the water their will be a river swim, inflatable animal and cardboard-box races as well as a paddle board contest.

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “The River Festival is fast approaching and I know many people looking forward to this years event.

“With so many different events and activities on offer, there’s something for the whole family to enjoy.”

For more information about the River Festival, please visit

Car parking is free for up to 2 hours every Saturday in all council owned town centre and multi-storey car parks.

Lurke Street and River Street multi-storey car parks are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Elstow Park & Ride is located in Progress Park, on the A6 just north of the A6 junction of the A421.

The Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership (MVCRP) have announced a late evening train at 11:10pm on Saturday after the fireworks show.

And the festival site is a short walk from Bedford St Johns station.

Buses will be running as normally as possible, though there will be some disruption during the parade on Sunday due to road closure.