Waterside weekend will bring Banbury’s history and heritage to life


The two day festival has something for all the family

Banbury’s two-day Canal Festival this weekend will get underway with Town Mayor Councillor Fiaz Ahmed performing the official opening and members of the Sealed Knot firing a salute.   The event begins at 10.30am on Saturday at the Swing Bridge close to Tooley’s Boatyard.

A fun-packed waterside weekend will follow, with entertainment and excitement for all the family, including boat trips, a floating market, dancing and funfair rides.

The Sealed Knot (the oldest re-enactment company in the UK) will re-live scenes from the English Civil War and remind onlookers that Banbury Castle played an important part in the war in the 1640s.

The castle was held by Royalist forces but eventually captured by the Parliamentarians who ordered it to be demolished. Nothing now remains of the castle though Castle Street provides a clue and Castle Quay shopping centre occupies part of the castle site.

The Canal Festival will also celebrate the history of the canal and remind visitors that the waterway, which opened in 1778, was an important chapter in the town’s development.   It brought goods and trade and created jobs and wealth.

The canal festival is a free-to-attend event organised by Banbury Town Council.

Music will include live performances from local artists with a folk festival in the General Foods social club garden, staged by Banbury Folk Club.

Fantastic dance performances will take place outside the Mill Arts Centre and Bridge Street Park will host the Sealed Knot performances.

Moored narrowboats selling a variety of goods will make a towpath stroll well worthwhile and live music and additional market stalls will be found in the car park below the Lidl supermarket.

Plenty of food and drink will be available in Chamberlaine Court car park and on the town side of the canal, Tooley’s Boatyard will provide its own fascinating entertainment.

The festival will run from 10.30am to 4.30pm both days.

Banbury mayor Fiaz Ahmed said: “This promises to be a wonderful weekend. There will be so much going on and the attractions include something for just about everyone of all ages.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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