This shouldn't really be in the blog. But they are my rules so I can break them.
We did not take SONFLOWER to the IWA Canalway Cavacade at Little Venice this year. But we did go for the weekend and were given great hospitality on freinds' narrowboat in the 'pool'.
Coming back home has made me think what are festivals about.
This one makes bit if money for the Inland Waterways Association which is not a bad thing in itself and it provides a platform for showcasing all the good things about boating. I provides a place for canal groups, museums, businesses and societies to tell the public what they are about. For us too it allows us to show case our Cruising Club, The Boaters Christian Fellowship and tell people about its aims and objectives.
Many boaters give festivals a wide berth. They object to the extra traffic and perhaps queues at locks formed by boats trying to get there. This is understandable but from a participant's point of view festivals are more than a commercial or charity event. I thoroughly enjoyed the banter, good natured competition, chatter and friendship of the boaters who came together with one real aim: to have fun.
We all have fun on the waterways in different ways. For some there is also the serious business of making a living and of living aboard come rain or shine. But whatever the slant on boating a festival has something for you. The winner of the best boat in the pageant was a 15 foot dinghy with an outboard, the best boat in show was a traditional style narrowboat, the working boats showed off their boat handling skills and did what they do (served boats with coal, gas and pump outs). All in a charming way that represented 200years of history.
I enjoy the festivity of the festival!
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