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Thames river carnival

Home > Attractions > Thames river carnival

The Mayor's Thames Festival takes place annually in mid-September. Activities take place over a weekend on the River Thames, the riverside walkways, roads, bridges, docks and public open spaces from Westminster Bridge to Tower Bridge and beyond.

The festival is a stunning, free celebration of London and its river and it has become a key highlight in the city's cultural life. Its river and water-focused activities aim to inspire and excite and its extensive education programme involving some 300 schools hopes to increase interest in and appreciation of the river and its environment.

A mixture of street arts, performance, carnival, pyrotechnics, illuminations, art installations, exhibitions, river events, massed choirs, circus, music and dance, food and feasting. The finale is a magical illuminated Night Procession that winds along the north and south banks of the Thames, followed by a fireworks display fired from the centre of the river itself.

Thames Festival

Last year's event proved tempting for nearly one million people and this years fiesta will see over 2,000 dancers, masqueraders and musicians - complete with costumes and lanterns - take to the streets for the Night Carnival.

The Thames Festival Trust also provides those in London with other activities, such as guided walks between Westminster Bridges and Waterloo, with actor Lance Pierson leading the way.

What the press say:

"London's biggest end-of-summer party"
Evening Standard

"Marvellous, eye-catching and above all, fun"
Where London

"As a contender for London's best annual event, the Mayor's Thames Festival is right up there"
Time Out Magazine

"the extraordinary, mesmerising Thames Festival"
London Planner

"A spectacular, free, outdoor annual celebration for London which is not to be missed"
Daily Mirror