Excuse for messing about on the water

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An expanded Brighouse Canal and Music Festival cruises into town this weekend (August 20/21) promising to pull in even bigger crowds than previous years.

And the event has even greater significance as the canal is restored following the horrendous Boxing Day floods

This well-established free event gives families the opportunity to enjoy not only canal activities but also a street food and craft market, live music and a real ale festival.

Organised by the highly successful Brighouse Business Initiative with the support of the Calder Navigation Society and the Canal and River Trust among other societies, this year’s event promises a weekend of great free entertainment.

Steven Lord of the organising committee said: “Pardon the pun, but we have really pushed the boat out this year!

“There will be lots more boats to see on the canal with free trips, live music on five stage areas, up from three last year, a street market, demonstrations and a beer and Pimms tent. It will be a fantastic party atmosphere.”

The canal will burst into life for two days when families can enjoy free trips in one of the four boats operating cruises.

Throughout the day boats jostle for position as not only the canal trip boats but also pleasure craft sail up and down.

The canal basin will be full of colourful barges and you can see how a canal lock works and how to tie knots.

On dry land, the town will buzz to the sound of live music performed around on five stage areas by over 30 acts.

The music covers all tastes from brass bands to folk to rock and roll.

And Morris dancers will recreate the atmosphere of the bygone days.

On Saturday night music will continue until 10pm with a real party atmosphere.

Visitors will also enjoy a street market with over 80 stalls selling a wide range of street food and local crafts.

The Yorkshire Classic Car Club joins in the fun exhibiting over 40 vehicles and holds a competition for the best turned out car.

Keighley and District Vintage Machinery Club put on a working display of steam powered machines from yesteryear whilst Halifax & Brighouse model engineers will offer steam train rides. Among other attractions, for the brave Creature Caboodle will allow visitors to handle exotic animals such as snakes and insects.

Visitor Ann Gould who was at the 2015 event summed up the festival perfectly: “Amazing. You couldn’t move it was so busy.

Keep an eye on www.brighousecanalfestival.co.uk for the full programmes. Alternatively call 01484 711835.