The tenth Whaley Water Weekend celebrates its first major anniversary on Saturday and Sunday, 13 and 14 June, with an opening evening on Friday 12 June. The event promises to be the biggest and best yet.
The committee has worked hard to arrange FREE boat trips over the weekend. Last year, unexpected grants created enough funding to to introduce the free rides. They were immensely popular, with nearly 800 people taking a canal journey.
Chairman Barrie Walker said: "In this of all years - our tenth event, in the middle of the recession - we wanted to do something special for the people. Free trips is our way of saying Enjoy the Water Weekend and give the children happy memories for all their lives. The vast majority of our attractions are free, a great help for families."
Once again, New Horizons, the canal boat which provides thousands of trips a year to disabled people, will be taking passengers on the Heritage Trip from the canal basin to Bugsworth and back. There will be full, live commentary. Shorter trips will be on Phoenix and Comet, as far as the canal junction past Tesco's - a perfect trip for children, and leaving plenty of time for all the other activities.
A W3 favourite also makes a return - Punch and Judy. For some youngsters, W3 has given them their first glimpse of this traditional English entertainment.
Other highlights include Nature in Focus, another W3 favourite. Children get the chance to examine through microscopes the wild life from the canal - more than you would ever imagine!
But music, music, music will keep the party going, rain or shine. (Organisers feel it is their year for glorious weather, after some challenging weekends in recent years.) DJ Lorenzo is once again the presenter. From a stage near the canal, he will introduce Werneth Swing Band and Riverboat Days, a jazz band on the Saturday. And on Sunday, New Mills's music tradition will dominate the day: the United Co-op New Mills Band, with a strong group of young players, will alternate with the Groove Diggers, a New Mills based trio bringing rhythm and blues to the party.
Acoustic Collective, playing at their fourth Water Weekend, will be playing on both days. Other musical treats will come from Manchester Morris Men on the Saturday, and Feet First Dancers on Sunday.
A commercial fairground is present over the weekend on the Tom Brad's Croft car park. Attractions here are paid for. W3 information line: 01663 733224.
Kate's balloon race at W3
WHALEY BRIDGE student Kathryn Pollard will be bringing extra colour to the Water Weekend, selling balloons for a race to raise money for an international children's charity.
Kathryn, 20, who hopes to become a vet, is studying animal science at Nottingham. She is taking part in charity expedition with 250 fellow students who will climb Kilimanjaro in parties during the summer. Kathryn's expedition is in September
Kathryn hopes to raise £2,200 for Childreach International, which works with the poorest communities in Africa. Buying a balloon can help Kathryn towards her target. You can contact her on 0786 75 45 35 6
Choir and railway
talk to open W3
Whaley Water Weekend opens in the Mechanics' Institute at 6.45pm on Friday, 12 June, with the choir of Whaley Bridge Primary School entertaining for the second year. The choir has raised thousands for Children In Need.
At 8.30pm on Friday, there is one of the highlights of W3 - a talk by John Morten : from Whaley Bridge to Cromford along the old Cromford and High Peak Railway. The line, starting from the canal basin, was completed in 1831 and finally closed in 1967.