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Friday September 6, 2013 by Marietjie Snyman

The Mayor's Thames Festival comes to the Southbank!

September in London is all about the River Thames and so this month we're heading down to the South Bank to take in the Mayor’s Thames River Festival.  The festival runs from the6th - 15th September this year and will be a 10 day celebration of London’s iconic river. London’s only river-focused multi-arts festival is one of the largest of its kind in the world and there are going to be amazing events both on the water and along its banks and bridges! The principal festival focus will be on and around the river between Lambeth Bridge and St Katharine Docks so theSouth Bank is the perfect place to view all of the fun and festivities.

Perhaps the most unusual and exciting of all of them taking place this year is the 1513: A Ships' Opera - a spectacular water-borne performance by Turner-prize nominated artist Richard Wilson and  Zatorski + Zatorski. On Saturday, 14th September an armada of historic vessels from the age of sail, steam and diesel will perform a live, operatic concerto of ships’ steam whistles, bells, horns, hooters, sirens and cannons!

There will also be  riverside screenings of short art films, river inspired art from famous artists, the Thames’ first floating art fair, and a 600-voice children’s choir will perform songs inspired by Henry VIII’s connections with the Thames.  

If you love classic boats, St Katharine Docks is the place to be as boats including Gloriana – the Queen’s barge, the Massey Shaw and a selection of Dunkirk Little Ships are open for guided tours. There’s also gourmet food from the St Katharine Docks Good Food Market, Sea Cadet displays and much, much more.

Another highlight will be the Dunkirk Little Ships rally, with the always eagerly awaited Great River Race taking place on Super Saturday the 7th.
And finally, The Barge-Driving Race on Sunday 15th will see 40ft steel barges competing in the river’s slowest race!


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Posted by Marietjie Snyman

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