Messing about in boats

Preston's maritime celebration, the Riversway Festival, returns this weekend
Preston's maritime celebration, the Riversway Festival, returns this weekend

Preston’s annual Maritime extravaganza, the Riversway Festival, returns this weekend.

Despite the withdrawal of council funding organisers say the festival will remain a big draw to boat owners and enthusiasts from across the region and beyond.

Among the attractions will be charity dragon boat racing on the waters of Preston Docks.

And Titan the Robot will be on hand to entertain the children.

The Docklands area will also be home to a host of stalls and fairground rides.

As usual, the docks, which are the largest inland dock in Europe, will be home for the weekend to over 60 boats who sail into Preston from all around the country to join in the fun.

This year, however, they will be moored on the south side of the dock to avoid disturbing Marina regulars.

There will also be a special exhibition housed in a waterside marquee on the city’s Maritime history – which will include a celebration of one time Preston Docks landmark, The Manxman, which first arrived here 30 years ago this year.

The former ferry became a floating nightclub which drew party people from across the area – and the exhibition will include Manxman memorabilia.

Docklands attraction, the Ribble Steam Railway, will also be running one of their hugely popular Friendly Engines Specials over the weekend, to coincide with the Riversway Festival.

Engines bearing individual smiling faces will take visitors on rides along their restored track, which passes over the swing bridge to provide a great view of boats in the Marina – and there will even be a face painting artist on hand which children can enjoy free of charge.