Putting Hereford on The Wye

PUBLISHED: 17:25 07 March 2014 | UPDATED: 17:33 07 March 2014

Build a raft at the Hereford River Carnival

Build a raft at the Hereford River Carnival


The Hereford River Carnival on Saturday May 3 promises to be a day of fun and festivity for everyone, celebrating the beauty and vitality of the River Wye and the life that it brings to the city of Hereford

Hereford River CarnivalHereford River Carnival

The Hereford River Carnival is an opportunity for the Wye to take centre stage as the people of Hereford celebrate their riverside roots in style with an explosion of colour, creativity and coming together at the Hereford River Carnival.

“The River Wye is the reason Hereford is where it is. It has had an enormous influence on how the city has evolved over time,” says Catherine Gilling, one of the Carnival Directors, “But many of us living and working in Hereford have lost touch with the Wye and - apart from when it threatens to flood - forget that it’s there, let alone get out and make the most of it.

“The Hereford River Carnival is an opportunity for the whole city to come together and celebrate the Wye; the jewel in the city’s crown.

“There really will be something for everyone. This is an event that has enormous potential to enrich all of our lives. We hope the Carnival will make people see the River Wye in a new light and change the way they think about their city and what makes it tick.”

A major highlight of the Carnival will be a colourful procession of decorated rafts down the river, which is open to all comers. Catherine continues, “We are working with local schools and hosting raft building workshops over the coming months so anyone who would like to get involved or sponsor a raft should get in touch. We are hoping that the carnival rafts on the river and a foot procession alongside will reflect Hereford’s diversity and that all the businesses and communities in the city will play a part.”

The full programme for the Carnival will be published soon, but the organisers are keen to point out that it’s not too late to get involved, “Far from it,” says Polly Ernest, the Carnival’s spokesperson, “there will be ways for all the many communities, schools and organisations in Hereford to get involved in the festivities.

“And the focus really will be on celebration and fun. We want people to come along and join the party whether it’s on a raft, on the riverbank, or just soaking up the atmosphere in the city and by the river. There will be arts and crafts including fun workshops and things to make on the day, sporting challenges including the possibility of a couple of world firsts, and some of the fabulous food that is synonymous with Herefordshire.”

Polly continues, “Many local people will remember the Carnival which last took place in Hereford in 1973. We’d like to hear from people who remember the old carnival and to hear from them what was good and what was not so good. We’re not trying to recreate the old Carnival, this is something different and new but it would be great if we could include those elements that people remember fondly alongside the amazing line up we have this year.”

The carnival committee are keen to point out that this is an event organised and created by the people of Hereford, for the people of the city, but as Polly Ernest points out, “If the many visitors to our beautiful county and spectacular river want to join in the Hereford River Carnival, then we would be delighted to welcome them. After all the word Wye is derived from the Latin, Vaga, meaning to wander, so all wanderers are welcome. I’m sure it will be an experience to remember and tell their friends about in future.”


For more information about the Waye Valley River Festival, including the Hereford River Carnival, visit: www.wyevalleyaonb.org.uk/index.php/wye-valley-river-festival

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