Thames Festival September 2014 – Celebrating London’s river!

by Ian Tokelove
Thames Festival Totally Thames 2014

Thames Festival Totally Thames 2014

Thames Festival Trust has announced an exciting new, month-long celebration of the Thames aimed at putting the 42-mile London stretch of the river at the heart of the capital’s cultural and tourism industry.

Taking place for the first time in September 2014, Totally Thames will be an annual, 30-day spectacular programme of events that will include arts, music and community festivals; colourful regattas; thrilling river races; foreshore archaeology, exploration, environmental and educational activities; as well as river-linked events run by charities and voluntary organisations across the 17 London riverside boroughs.

Totally Thames events to look forward to this year include:

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival (1-30 Sept): Delivering free, rivery fun in central London for almost two decades, this is London’s only river-focused multi-arts festival and the largest of its kind in the world, promoting activities that reach up to the source of the Thames and down to its mouth. Having expanded last year from a weekend event to 10 days, this festival will be held over a longer period and a wider area: throughout September and along the 42-mile London stretch of the Thames. EXPECT: To be dazzled, inspired and delighted by extraordinary new art commissions; films and performances on the riverside; beachcombing and bonfires on the foreshore; walks, talks, and explorations; slow cruises; fast boats; and dozens of incentives to get you onto London’s greatest natural asset.
  • Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival (5-9 Sept): The Royal Borough of Greenwich will host the largest fleet of Tall Ships to visit London in 25 years with a 5-day, free festival across historic Greenwich, Royal Arsenal Woolwich, Greenwich Peninsula and West India Dock. EXPECT: Chances to board the Tall Ships moored along the Greenwich waterfront;dazzling evening fireworks displays; free cultural performances, music and entertainment at the festival villages; and a crew parade and festival procession.
  • The Great River Race (27 Sept): Also known as London’s River Marathon, this spectacular boat race up the Thames attracts more than 300 crews from all over the globe. EXPECT: Fancy dress, charity stunts, and serious sportsmen and women vying for the River Race crown.
  • Handel’s Fireworks Music and Illuminations (14 Sept): Historic Royal Palaces will host what promises to be an unforgettable performance of Handel’s Music for the Royal Fireworks. Taking place in the romantic, riverside PrivyGarden at HamptonCourtPalace, it will be performed by a 30-piece orchestra and followed by a breath-taking Georgian fireworks display. EXPECT: A magical evening in a spectacular, historic setting.
  • The Big Thames Tidy (31 Aug and 1 Sept): Leading water charity, Thames21, hosts one of the biggest mass clean-ups the river has ever seen. EXPECT: Lots of mucky fun!
  • The Shimmy (21 Sept):London’s coolest street art festival brings creative sparkle to the riverside borough of Wandsworth. EXPECT: To take a walk along the river through concrete wharfs, along a street and under a magnificent canopy of trees – and be surprised by wonderful art encounters along the way.
  • Dozens of river events in Richmond, Kew, Brentford, Hammersmith, Imperial Wharf, Wandsworth, Vauxhall, South Bank, More London, St Katharine Docks and the Isle of Dogs, amongst others.

The full Totally Thames programme will be announced in July 2014.

For more information see:

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