THOUSANDS of people turned out to enjoy the Bideford Water Festival yesterday.
The event, organised by the town’s Rotary Club, included gig racing, a rubber duck race, sailing demonstrations and a host of other fun events, including a greasy pole contest.
A range of market stalls, a funfair and a number of classic cars were also at the event on Bideford Quay.
Organiser David Ogle said the day was a tremendous success.
It’s been a great day of entertainment by the river, using the river for locals and holidaymakers alike,” he said.
“We’ve had a couple of thousand people here, we like to think it’s about 3,000.
“People are coming and going so it’s difficult to tell, but we are delighted.
“Look at the weather, it’s fantastic, the river’s nice and calm and we’re looking forward to having a drink at the end of the day.”
David said a range of local charities would benefit.
“It is a big fundraiser,” he said. “We do well out of it as the public are very generous, as are our sponsors, Bideford Town Council, South West Water and Bideford Bridge Trust.”
Torridge district councillor Andrew Eastman said he had enjoyed the event.
It’s been spectacular,” said Mr Eastman, who was working on the skittle alley, raising funds for Northam lodge, a charity which provides services for people with learning disabilities.
“We’re very grateful to the rotary club for putting on the festival,” he said.
“We’re delighted to support it and it’s been exceptionally busy.”
It wasn’t just organisers and councillors enjoying the festival.
Dan Pimble, 18, said he had a great time. He said he had never visited before, despite living only a few hundred yards from the quay.
“It’s nice that it brings everyone down and we’re all having a nice time,” he said.
“We’ll stick around for a while and we’ll definitely come back next year, because I want to have a go on the greasy pole.”
Louise Colome, also 18, said she’d like a go on the pole too.
“I would have a go now, but I don’t fancy walking home in wet jeans,” she said.
Proud mother Emma Temple, from Westleigh, said she enjoyed the day.
“My children are in the North Devon Yacht Club cadets,” she said.
“They’re giving a demonstration of tacking and jibing and are going to capsize in a bit.
“It’s a really enjoyable event and it’s nice to show what goes on at the yacht club.”