Thames festival, between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge
Report by urban75 editor, 18th September 2005
The Mayor's Thames festival is an annual London event serving up a feast of free entertainment with parades, funfairs, fireworks and a big lantern procession. We love it!
The action takes place around the riverfront, parks and open spaces between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge, and the festival has become hugely popular with locals and tourists.
I grabbed these pictures on the Sunday afternoon.
A huge sand sculpture was created outside the National Theatre by Daneel Foyer who, is, apparently, a professional sand artist.
Mighty impressive, isn't it? Mind you, I wonder how many times he had to stop rampaging three year olds from heading straight into the thing.
According to the program, these guys were playing 'authentically temperamental' music from all the regions of Slovakia.
It certainly was a bit moody - the bloke in the blue waistcoat was booming out verses with all the melody of a pub argument.
There's a long tradition of jazz dancing inside the Festival Hall on Sunday afternoons, but for the Festival, all the soft-shoe shuffling was going on outside.
These heavy boats were hauled miles downstream by some seriously knackered-looking rowers.
As usual, there was a small, old fashioned funfair at the festival with kids lining up for a spin on 'Forrests Old Time Riding Horses.'
City Hall auditorium
The new City Hall has a stone auditorium built into the site, providing an excellent open air venue.
A 22-strong Samba band make a right royal percussive racket by the City Hall.
Gran Gran Fiesta!
Live Brazilian and Latin American music by the City Hall.
Look at the size of those maracas!
A major part of the Thames Festival is the fabulous night parade.
Unfortunately, I had to bugger off early, so I've cheated a bit and included some pics from the festival in 2000 to give you some idea of what goes on!
The Festival is traditionally closed with a spectacular fireworks finale, which takes place at 9:30pm on the Sunday night.
The fireworks are blasted into the air from a barge in the river, and it's definitely worth battling to get a good vantage point amongst the hefty crowds.