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Riverside Festival kick-starts city’s summer fun

Boats along the Mile Straight of the River Soar near Bede Park

LEICESTER’s biggest free family festival will take to the city’s waterways and open spaces once again next month with a fun-packed programme of activities for all ages.

The annual Riverside Festival returns on June 4 and 5, spread over four areas – Bede Park, Castle Gardens, Western Boulevard and the Mile Straight of the River Soar – and featuring fun on and off the water.

Bede Park will feature family activities including a fun fair, food stalls, arts and crafts, beer tent, acoustic music stage and lots of activities, with the nearby piazza hosting a programme of great live bands.

Western Boulevard sees the return of the hugely-popular street market with arts, crafts, tasty street food plus the Ride Leicester cycling area.

The River Soar will come alive with a colourful narrow boat rally, boat trips, kayaks and the opportunity to view and buy work from local artists at Art on The River.

To tie in with this summer’s Platinum Royal Jubilee celebrations, there will also a historical flavour to some of the events, giving visitors the chance to look back over the best of the 70-year reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Castle Gardens will feature a silent cinema, showcasing both the Royal Family over the decades, as well as showing a programme of family-friendly children’s films and hosting a range of eco-themed activities.

Leicester deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “Riverside Festival signifies the start of the city’s summer programme, and is always an event to look forward to.

“This year it takes place on the weekend of the Queen’s Platinum Royal Jubilee, which will be reflected in Castle Gardens, whose tranquil surroundings will host a silent cinema commemorating the Queen and Royal Family over the last 70 years of her extraordinary reign.

“For those who prefer more energetic activities, Bede Park will once again come alive with its funfair, while the Mile Straight and Western Boulevard will offer a wide range of activities and stalls for all ages and tastes.”

More information on the Riverside Festival is available at