Details announced for Sheffield Waterfront Bicentenary Festival 2019

Celebrate the Sheffield & Tinsley Canal’s 200th anniversary on 21 to 22 September 2019.

This year, the Canal & River Trust will be hosting the biggest ever Sheffield Waterfront Festival, as part of its year of celebrations to mark the 200th anniversary of Sheffield & Tinsley Canal.

On Saturday, September 21, between 10.00am and 4.00pm, Victoria Quays in Sheffield will be transformed into a hive of activity, with free, family-friendly hands-on activities, live entertainment and stalls.

There will be lots of ways for visitors to get afloat and discover the health and wellbeing benefits of being by water, for free. With a 30-minute paddle boarding or canoeing session, sponsored by Victoria Quays-based software company Servalec, or a relaxing boat trip along the canal with A&G Passenger boats.

Also for free, you can get a birds-eye view of the canal from the climbing wall, or stay closer to ground and explore a realistic cave network of over 100ft of squeezes, potholes and tunnels. Water-based climbing and caving activities are suitable for adults and children aged eight plus.

Sheffield-based Honey Bee Blues Club will be curating the live music stage from 11.00am and the city’s very own Greentop Circus will be inviting visitors to try their hand at circus skills. For a small fee, pottery, spoon-bending and face-painting will also be available.

Experience a journey to the canal’s past and join one of the free interactive walks by Rusticus performance group or jump aboard a historic bus for a free guided tour around Sheffield with South Yorkshire Transport Museum, connecting Victoria Quays to the oldest part of Sheffield. On Exchange Street and the Castlegate, the celebrations continue – from 2.00pm until 10.0pm enjoy live music and DJs, local food vendors, retail stalls, live art and spoken word poetry.

Jade Wilkes, community roots engagement co-ordinator, has been helping to organise the Festival. She says: “The canal was central to the development of Sheffield. It played a major role in the city’s history so the bicentenary is a great time for us celebrate this and bring the community together at the waterfront.

“Visitors can learn how our charity and local volunteers care for the canal and how being by the water can make people feel happier and healthier.”

Also, as part of the 200th anniversary celebrations, the new nationwide Canal Street Art Trail will be launched. The first year of the trail is supported by players of the People’s Postcode Lottery (PPL). A series of bold, colourful commissioned artworks will be placed along the city’s waterway. Sheffield-based street artists including the Concrete Canvas collective and Affix will be producing new commissions. The Trail will also include artworks created by local community groups working in collaboration with street artists. Further details to be announced shortly.

On Sunday 22 September, from 11.00am until 2pm, the celebrations continue at Kelham Island Museum. The museum’s riverside location will be the focus for a range of hands-on, family-friendly wildlife themed activities. Make a bee hotel, create your own bee wings, meet the island beekeepers, try the wildlife trail. Entry fee to the museum applies.

To get to Victoria Quays, the nearest tram stop is Ponds Forge. Car parking is available at Victoria Quays, North Quay Drive, Sheffield, S4 7SW.

The full programme is available here.

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