This all encompassing festival is a true celebration of what our lovely little city has to offer, and is set in a pretty good location, too – not only is it on the best stretch of river in the city centre, but it’s also pretty close to all the greatest bars that Bridgford has to offer, which is handy if all the activities leave you in need of a little light refreshment.
Of course, speaking of refreshments, one of Riverside’s main attractions each year is the wondrous food that is so lovingly offered up, like a favourite aunt at a family party. From Caribbean delights to mushy peas, Mexican meals to Chinese chow, just walking past the stalls will send your tastebuds into salivating overdrive.
Afterwards, you can challenge your cast-iron stomach to stay in one place as you leap on to one of the ubiquitous rides. I mean come on, it’s a fair, therefore painted in such gaudy colours that no one would even notice if your stomach contents fly across the Trent. However, if you’d prefer something a little lower key, then the display of steam engines is bound to provide interest and inspire at least one person to throw about some ‘Fat Controller’ jokes, I’m sure.
As you wander, make sure to have a chat to some of the performance artists and troupes, with such intriguing names as ‘Grand Theatre of Lemmings’, ‘Hot Potato Synchopactors’ and ‘Granny Tourismo’. If the acts are as good as the names they will definitely be worth checking out. For the kids there will also a children’s area with enough distractions to have your kids bright eyed and bushy tailed for hours on end. Family events such as Ay Up Mi Duck, Nottingham’s premier rubber duck race (like Pooh Sticks, but cuter, and better named) and the annual charity Dragon Boat race will be taking place throughout the weekend, too.
No Nottingham festival would be complete without music, and Riverside has a right medley going on; ranging from traditional African music with a modern twist, Bollywood with a funk and soul mash up, and some of Nottingham’s most prolific talents including Tom Wardle, Wholesome Fish, The Golden Troubadours and 2011 Future Sound of Nottingham winners, The Money.
The highlight of the festival itinerary is Saturday night’s fireworks which are not to be missed if you like your fireworks big, loud and sparkly – and who doesn’t? Get there pretty early for a chance to grab a hotdog and a seat on the side of the river for some stunning pyrotechnics.
Riverside Festival is on Victoria Embankment from Friday 3 to Sunday 5 August
Riverside Festival website