The New Carnival Company, organisers of the ‘All along the Riverbank’ event over the May Bank Holiday, have proclaimed it a ‘scorching success’ after over 3,000 people were recorded participating along the 2 mile stretch of the event beside the Eastern Yar.
This unusual linear event, which took place along the cycleway from Sandown to Langbridge, was animated with over 50 imaginative nature installations and sculptures of insects, birds and mammals, all created in school and community workshops across the east of the Island.
In addition, there were numerous stalls, displays and traditional crafters representing a range of environmental and creative organisations who gave members of the public walking along an opportunity to try out and learn about exactly what they do.
Environmental organisations taking part included the Hampshire and IW Wildlife Trust, Island Rivers, Gift to Nature, Isle of Wight AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), Time Taxi archaeology and the Ramblers Association.
Whilst the event was designed to encourage people to walk all or some of the route at least once, the large May Field at Peddlers Café provided a focus for seasonal entertainment including Maypole and Morris Dancing, Folk Singing and a percussion workshop.
Chris Slann, Executive Director for the New Carnival Company said:
“We were overwhelmed at the amazing number and range of the people walking, cycling and scootering the route. Many people commented that they had not walked the cycleway before and were delighted to see such a wide range of indigenous natural beauty highlighted through creative installations and specially commissioned temporary interpretation boards.”
The NCC’s Creative Director, Frankie Goldspink added:
“All along the Riverbank’ is a unique festival on the Island in that it encourage the audience to be an integral part of the whole event by traveling the route under their own steam and joining in lots of educational activities at the various activity stations. The diversity of partner organisations ensures there was something for everyone to see, learn and do”.
The New Carnival Company aims to establish ‘All along the Riverbank’ as one of the regular highlights of the Island’s spring calendar with the 2019 event being held on the 6th May 2019.