The planning started back in April, although it seems at tad longer to be honest and yet yesterday we arrived at the culmination of all that planning and now it’s all done. The 32nd Maidstone River Festival along the river Medway streaming its way through Kent’s County town arrived at a natural end with a spectacular fireworks display.
It was fun getting the audience to scream and shout in the warm up before the fireworks lit up the Maidstone night skyline. It seemed to me that all where there to enjoy it as a family event.
It is true to say that there are a few idiots who cause a few problems, like the fellow next to the toilet block who was completely off his trolley and sang incessantly into a loud haler, or the women who got so drunk that she’d lost her mobile phone and decided to sit on the verge of the roundabout just in case it might creep back into her handbag.
In the main though it was a fantastic event enjoyed but almost all who attended. I enjoyed it tremendously – for my part I was event host – come photographer – come all round mucking in person, and it was great fun, although I was tired an exhausted by the time I got home at one the next morning.
As event host I shared the task of keeping people in the know about what was happening when and where through event animation.
The raft races were particular fun, I was at the finish line on The Maidstone Bridge while my colleague Ian Tucker was sat in the middle of the race on St Peters Bridge. It was also great to chat with many of the people who had come along to join in with the fun. I aim to edit up some of the recorded interviews into a digital story of the day at some point soon.
It was a long day starting at 7 in the morning and finishing at around mid-night, the event host part was from 10am until 10.30pm with a few natural pauses along the way. At twelve and a half hours you can see why we shared the work load.
The Maidstone River Festival is a superb event organised by a group of dedicated volunteers who have given up a great deal of time to bring joy for others and for that they have to be applauded. It is a shame though that it has to make way next year for the Olympics, and as one twitter poster pointed out @maidstonerf ‘I’m not interested in the Olympics so why should I miss out because of it”.