Driffield News

Canal Fest to be a key part of a great Yorkshire weekend of fun

Navigation commissioners are pushing the boat out to show Driffield Canal is part of Yorkshire’s rich heritage.

Driffield Navigation Trust has teamed up with Driffield Town Council to stage a Yorkshire Weekend extravaganza on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st July.

The event includes Canal Fest at Riverhead, and other attractions organised by the town council, including an artisan market with more than 70 stalls.

It aims to celebrate Yorkshire Day and all that is good about the county, with Driffield Canal being one of the centres for the spectacular.

David Taylor, DNT spokesman, said: “We were thinking about organising an event for the Queen’s Jubilee, but there were so many other things taking place in the town and surrounding area.

“So, we were delighted to be invited to join the Yorkshire Weekend and make it a really big event for Driffield, running from Umbrella Plaza to Riverhead.

“The canal opened in 1770 and is one of the oldest navigations in the country. It linked Driffield with the River Hull and Humber waterway networks and brought prosperity to the town.

“We get wonderful support from the town council and it is great to join them to celebrate the growth of Driffield and the part it has played in the rich history of Yorkshire.”

The navigation commissioners are keen for people to get involved with the canal by visiting Canal Fest to see what is going on and have some fun and games.

Mr Taylor said: “We are a charity that relies on fundraising and every penny we make at the festival will be spent on maintenance and improvements.

“The canal is a wonderful asset for Driffield and the wider East Riding area. A fully navigable canal will increase tourism in Driffield and the surrounding area, and boost the local economy, so we hope people will support the Canal Fest and Yorkshire Weekend.”

Jill Baldwin, Driffield town centre officer, added: “It looks set to be a weekend to remember and I urge everyone to come along and enjoy all that Driffield has to offer, and a bit more.”

The trust has lined-up a programme of entertainment which will run alongside the town council’s attractions, including the market with stalls also being set up at Riverhead.

Duck racing will be making a welcome return to the canal involving more than 1,000 yellow plastic ducks.

Tickets can be bought on the day with cash prices for the winners when the race is held at 3.30pm on the Sunday.

Members of the East Yorkshire Stand Up Paddleboarding are taking part on the Saturday and visitors will be invited to try the popular water sport.

Entertainment will be provided by the Gaslight Dixieland Jazz Band on the Saturday and top singer Kenny J, as the one and only Elvis Presley, on Sunday.

Canal Fest starts at 11am both days with continuous boat trips to Town Lock and back, pedalos, a bar and barbecue, heritage display with steam-powered river launch and traction engine, finishing around 4pm.

The DNT is grateful to Eko Custom Homes, of Driffield, for sponsoring the entertainment, and also Halder Transport, of Hutton Cranswick, for its sponsorship.

For more details including a full programme of events and times, visit driffieldnavigationtrust.org.

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