River to be lit up for celebratory festival

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LANTERNS and pyrotechnics will light up the River Don this weekend, in a festival organised to celebrate the official opening of Sheffield’s newest “pocket park” and also mark the completion of flood defences for the Wicker area.

The “Sheffield Riverlution” festival will run on Saturday, September 22 and Sunday, September 23 on the city centre waterfront of the River Don, between the new Nursery Street park and Kelham Island Museum.

The programme includes the revival of the River Don raft race as well as stalls, music and a night-time lantern parade.

Activities begin at 11am on Saturday at Kelham Island Museum, with live music, market stalls and a barbecue, as well as kayaking taster sessions.

To mark the museum’s 30th anniversary, artist “Stoneface” will be carving a new piece called Nose to the Grindstone.

Niki Connolly, events and marketing manager at Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust, said: “We have a lot of different river-themed activities taking place, appealing to all ages, and we’re expecting to attract a lot of people to the event.”

The following day, Sheffield Riverlution switches to Nursery Street, with a raft race beginning at 11.30am.

The official opening of the park takes place at 1pm on Sunday, followed by music from a gospel choir, Japanese fly-fishing taster sessions, lantern-making workshops, street games and sports.

Between 7pm and 8pm lanterns and pyrotechnics will then light up the night sky.

Coun John Campbell, Lord Mayor of Sheffield, said: “This park is the first place in city centre where people can really get down to the riverside and enjoy activities near or even on the water.

“There will be lots to do for all ages throughout the weekend, so we hope everyone will come down and enjoy the celebrations.

“Projects like this help to highlight the river and will contribute towards ensuring it continues to improve the environment for wildlife and local people.”