Northwich gears up for a fun-filled festival

NORTHWICH Rotary Club has announced plans for its annual summer river festival.

Now in its third year, the event has become a firm favourite in the town’s calendar and this year will take place Saturday, July 13 and Sunday 14.

Already confirmed for the Saturday is the return of the crowd-pleasing Mighty River Weaver Dragon Boat Challenge, with the eye-catching boats racing between Town Bridge and The Odeon. 

Raft racers having fun at last year’s Northwich River Festival. PHOTO: CHRISTIAN DOBBIE

Chair of the organising committee, Rotarian John Walton, said: “The overall winners of the past two races has been a team from Roberts Bakery, so it will be interesting to see if anyone can take the crown from them this year.

“We’ve managed to keep the entry price for entry of 10 rowers and a drummer at the 2018 cost, and we are expecting another increase in teams entered.”

There will be a change of craft for the Sunday, when participants will battle to be winners of the second ‘Raft the River Race’.

Teams from Mid Cheshire Scout Association will be racing on the Sunday morning, starting at 9.30am. In the afternoon, the racing will be open to local businesses, clubs and associations to take part in their own hand-built vessels.

The course will be the same as for the Dragon Boat Challenge and promises to be hilarious fun for competitors and spectators alike.

Sunday’s watery activities will draw to a close with the famous ‘Ducks on The Dane’ duck race, as thousands of plastic ducks are released into the River Dane near the Memorial Court.

The winners will be the first ducks to reach the end of the course at the junction of the rivers Dane and Weaver next to Waitrose car park.

Mid Cheshire SUP (Stand-Up Paddleboarders) will again be in attendance both days, showcasing the work they undertake to help keep the waterways free of rubbish and, for those that like to take things a bit more leisurely, Wirral Community Narrowboat Trust will be providing trips aboard its wheelchair-accessible vessel Over The Rainbow.

Away from the water, planned attractions will include an artisan market, charity and trade stalls, children’s rides, emergency service displays, and shopping in the town’s wide range of independent stores and cafés.

Daytime entertainment will be provided by Typhoon and The Pedal Players Street Theatre, and Liverpool Pirate Brethren will be making a welcome return. Buskers are also invited to provide live music across the site.To learn more about this exciting event, enter a dragon boat or raft race team, book a stall, or to find out about corporate sponsorship and advertising, visit