Fun for the family at canal festival

Blisworth Canal Festival
Blisworth Canal Festival

Blisworth’s waterfront will be full of trade boats and stalls selling everything from cheese to boat oil during the annual Canal Festival next weekend.

Blisworth Canal Festival takes place from 11am to 5pm on August 10 and 11.

The festival has rapidly grown into a major canal and county event, attracting an estimated 18,000 visitors over the weekend last year.

Once again, the event will spread out from the canal, with eight nearby village venues offering a variety of attractions including wood carving, pony rides and farm animals.

Local master blacksmith Bob Nightingale will be demonstrating his skills in the courtyard of Blisworth House.

He will answer questions visitors will be able to buy some of his stunning pieces.

If you’ve ever fancied having a go at bell ringing, now’s your chance.

The mobile bell tower will once again be in front of Blisworth Parish Church in the High Street.

Watch the bees in the observation hive, roll a beeswax candle, taste the different honeys and learn about courses offered by

Hourly boat trips will be operating both days from the festival waterfront to Gayton Junction and back aboard the traditional narrowboat Elizabeth Of Glamis.

The Funion Bargee will be offering free supervised play sessions for children.

Funded by the Big Lottery Fund’s Playful Ideas funding and run by Milton Keynes Play Association, the aim of the boat is to bring play to children across Milton Keynes and parts of Northants and Beds and to help children appreciate the canal and its environment through play.

Trade boats will include Foscote Crafts on the Fat Rascal and fused glass jewellery on the Glass Barge.

Face painter Julie will be on her boat, Jade.

As well as rural craft demonstrations, there will be a companion dog show, vintage caravans, Second World War re-enactment, laser arena, children’s fairground, chicken display, art gallery and bistro.

There will be free heritage walks and longer guided rambles to take part in over the weekend, and free live music.

On the Sunday, nine gardens will be opening to the public, for an entry charge.

For the rest of the festival, there’s free entry, free mooring and free parking.

The Blisworth Canal Festival is the major annual fundraising activity for the Blisworth Canal Partnership, a group of villagers formed in 2009, which received an award from the Canal & River Trust last year in recognition of its outstanding contribution to volunteering within the South East Waterways region.

More volunteers are needed to help with projects, from helping install lock beams, litter picking along the towpath and creating a pocket park to volunteering at the festival.