Despite a very soggy start to the weekend, the 10th Stoke Bruerne Family Festival broke all records on Sunday when the sun finally came out and some village car parks reported being full by lunchtime. Extra children’s face painters had to be called in to cope with high demand for butterflies, spotty dogs and tigers!
Highlight of the festival was a Viking longboat with a dragon’s head billowing coloured smoke arriving in the village along the Grand Union Canal. Watched by the assembled crowds, the longboat landed a Viking horde on the towpath outside the Canal Museum intent on pillaging. The invaders ordered the lowering of the Union Jack flag, replacing it with their own ‘hrafnsmerki’ or Norse Raven banner.
Rampaging Vikings aside, visitors to the festival were able to enjoy a huge range of attractions including a wealth of live music, theatre, morris dancing, a real ale bar, boat trips, a bustling trade market, lots of exhibitors with everything from live parrots to trans-Atlantic rowing boats and much much more. There were also lots of opportunities to have a go – from making wood whistles, tying rope dragonflies, building canal bridges, creating rag rugs and canal crochet to picking up a paintbrush and doing a bit of ‘Roses & Castles’ traditional canal decoration.
The festival has raised a surplus of just over £3,000 for the Friends of the Canal Museum Charity and we'd like to thank everybody who contributed in a myriad of different ways to helping us achieve this marvellous result, especially our volunteers, entertainers, traders, businesses and all the other village organisations who took part.