Thames Festival to make a splash next weekend

The banks of the Thames will be buzzing with music, theatre and food next weekend during the capital’s largest open-air river festival.

Tower Bridge is one of four main Thames Festival zones and over Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 will come alive with a raft of free family-friendly activities.

Now in its 15th year, the Greater London Authority sponsored event attracts hundreds of artists, dancers and musicians.

The Blue Ribbon Village, open from 12 to 7pm in Potters Fields Park on both days will give visitors the chance to explore the river’s wildlife, industries and history – all to the backdrop of a carnival-themed wonderland decorated with flags by artist Shona Watt.

Children from 100 primary schools have created a sculpture, Reclaimed by the Thames, which will provide the focal point for photography, painting and rope making workshops.


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Kayaking demonstrations, pond-dipping and animation classes are also being put on by Westminster Boating Base.

For parents, Tango dancing should get a few pulses racing.

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Sean A McGee and El Farabute will lead classic and electro tango sessions well into the night but for those just wanting to dip their toe in, taster classes will be held from midday on Saturday.

Star turns from Cesar Velasquez and Masha Gurina at 3.30pm and El Farabute at 5pm will give fans a taste of the fiery Argentinian tradition.

On Sunday, a kids’ choir – made up of youngsters from nine London boroughs including Tower Hamlets and Hackney - will gather outside City Hall from 1pm.

The Year 5 singing project was set up in 2003 and gives young people the chance to work with top musicians and composers.

Dotted further west along the river, food stalls, theatre and circus performers will be set up and the festival will culminate in a spectacular fireworks display between Waterloo and Blackfriars bridges from 9.45pm on Sunday.

See thamesfestival.org for details.

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