Blisworth Canal Festival 2013
You woudn't think that Blisworth festival is still in its infancy. Its only been running for three years and every year it goes from strength to strength. It's helped by enjoying a uncannily favorable run of good weather, but each year it gets bigger and bigger.
Comfortably Numb and butty Echoes
This little village really embraces its canal festival, with stallholders and exhibitors packing every open space and hall, plus many gardens opening up to the public for the weekend.
Blisworth Allotment Society display
As its free event it is very hard to estimate the numbers of visitors but the official guess was about 8,000 on Saturday and a similar number on the Sunday ranging up to 24,000 for the whole weekend. Either way there was lots to see and do, with a good number of trade boats on the main drag between the mill and Candle Bridge plus a large extra festival site on the western side of the canal where a WW2 recreation team let lose their machine gun at regular, ear splitting intervals.
Wild Side receives an enthusiastic welcome back
For me the success in numbers was also a snag. Sure we had a fantastic couple of days on the Wildside stall with loads of satisfied customers returning from last year but all this activity meant that apart from a coffee trip before 11.00am, there was no opportunity to get out and about and see the event as a whole.
In fact, my forays were little more than a quick run down the towpath and back during which I has a few snatched exchanges with other traders and exhibitors who we see from time to time. Perhaps the best surprise was to see the Fudge Boat back in action - attending their first event this year after an unfortunate number of setbacks since we last saw them at Windmill End last September.
The off beat and the unusual came our way
However, it seemed that every visitor passed our stall at Candle Bridge, lots of the boaters and blog readers and all with a sweet tooth for our yummy preserves. By Sunday afternoon we has sold out of chutney and with all our remaining jam out on display it became more and more difficult to field a full stall. Wild Side is a runaway success at Blisworth.
Our neighbours are the lovely Blisworth allotment society whose green fingers produce the most amazing fruit and veg, and this year sported a "flower" arrangement containing no less than 12 vegetables - absolutely stunning.
I am developing an unhealthy obsession with butty stern's!
Blisworth really is one of our favourite festivals. Its too far to get to by boat but the friendly atmosphere and the preserve hungry crowds make it a "must attend" event in the Wild Side calendar.