Shrewsbury River Festival: Pirate theme for event this weekend

By Lucy Todman | Shrewsbury entertainment | Published:

Landlubbers will be welcome at a pirate party with a difference when a flotilla of rafts take to the water this weekend.

Jane Price, Dilwyn Jones and Jamie Burgoyne from the Sabrina Boat team are gearing up for the Shrewsbury River Festival

The Shrewsbury River Festival is now in it's sixth year and attracts people from all over the county.

This year Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Boreatton Scout Group and Shropshire Paddle Sport are working in partnership to support and add to the entertainment already provided at Shrewsbury River Festival. More than 20 pirates will be arriving at some point during the morning of the event in Canadian canoes.

The raft race returns is the star attraction of the Shrewsbury River Festival and this year’s raft race will is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Research.

Teams are supplied with only four barrels, four pallets and 30m of rope. Each is then given only an hour to build a raft, which they then have to launch and race alongside the Sabrina Boat.

Prizes will also be presented to the best-dressed pirates for under 10s, and over 10s, for both girls and boys. Adult buccaneers are also welcome to enter the fancy dress competition.

The festival is held both in the Quarry Park and on the River Severn from 10am-5pm on Sunday. Entry to the event is free and there will be a range of entertainment – both on and off the river - including the raft race, various demonstrations on the river and in the Quarry, coracles, canoeing, trade and food stalls, children’s fancy dress and other competitions, as well as live entertainment.

Pete Lambert, river projects manager for Shropshire Wildlife Trust said: “I’m really pleased to be combining my work with the trust and as a scout leader at Shrewsbury River Festival. Some of the pirates arriving in the canoes will unusually also double up as professional support and qualified coaches to keep everyone safe.”

Phil Gittins, management accountant at Morris Lubricants added: “This is the third time that I have organised the raft race at the Shrewsbury River Festival, and each time we have simplified the race as much as possible to enable anyone to take part. Let’s face it, the highlight of the day will be when one of the rafts disintegrates, and all the competitors end up in the river! Of course I’ll be there in a safety boat, ready to promptly fish them out.”

Lucy Todman

By Lucy Todman

Senior reporter for the Shropshire Star and Shrewsbury Chronicle based in Shrewsbury.


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