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AFTER over 17 months in ‘social hibernation’, residents of all ages will come together this weekend for the town’s first major post-lockdown event – the Melksham Food and River Festival!
And festival organisers are promising a jam-packed schedule of events over the two days – Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th September – in King George V Park.
Visitors can look forward to over 50 stalls to explore – with food and drinks on offer from all corners of the world; music; dancing; cooking demonstrations; the raft race; a climbing wall; boat trips on the River Avon; fairground rides; demonstrations on the river from Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club, Phoenix Paddlesport and Wiltshire Search & Rescue; and the Cooper Tires wire challenge across the river.
The festival will also include a visit from Frankie the canal horse, who will be giving children rides in the park on Sunday.
“We’re really looking forward to welcoming Melksham residents and visitors from further afield to the festival this weekend,” said chair of the festival’s committee, Adrienne Westbrook, speaking to Melksham News. “The weekend is jam-packed, and is full of music, entertainment, river events and over 50 stalls. There is plenty to do for all the family. It’s been a very difficult year for all residents of the area, and we are honoured to host the first big community event since the pandemic – we can’t wait to bring the town together.
“And Covid has been considered in everything that we have arranged at the festival – so please come and enjoy a fantastic free and safe weekend.”
And as always, the festival will be supporting a number of local groups, who will have their own information stands at the event, including Melksham Carnival who will also be at the festival to promote next year’s event; Proud Melksham – the town’s new group for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT+) community; and Melksham Goes Wild, the new group that is helping to enhance and support the natural environment through ‘rewilding’.
Founder of Proud Melksham, Ryan Clarke, said, “Anyone is welcome to come and have a chat with us about Proud Melksham and how we are there to support the local community. We will have rainbow products for sale, including donations from local businesses, and we will have a raffle to win a hamper kindly donated by Morrisons!”
There will also be information stands for the Melksham Lions, Cancer Care, Wiltshire Air Ambulance and RAFA.
“It’s a true celebration of community groups in Melksham,” said Adrienne.
Amongst the action on the river, Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club, will be giving demonstrations throughout the weekend – and they may have a surprise in store.
“We may have a guest appearance from Freestyle kayaker, Alex Edwards, who is the World Number 2 and reigning World Cup and European Champion, and is based in Melksham.”
• The Melksham Food and River Festival is this weekend in King George V Park, Saturday 4th September, 10am to 6pm and Sunday 5th September, 10am to 4.30pm.