Over 100 canal boats will line the banks of the Worcester and Birmingham Canal on August bank holiday weekend for the annual Festival of Water.

From 28 to 30 August the Inlands Waterways Associations will be hosting it’s 75th anniversary event at Perdiswell Park, where the canal runs through.

Many boaters and festival organisers are already on their way.

Barbara Bridge has been the entertainment director for the past six years and set off from Stockport when restrictions were lifted.

She said: “After the year we have just had it has to be something to look forward to and hope it is the start of the road back to something like normality.

“The IWA Festivals are important events, helping to promote awareness of the work done by it's members and volunteers who restore and keep our canals and rivers navigable.”

Sallyann Ford is part of the Waterway Chaplaincy and is currently on her way from Ely in Cambridgeshire.

She said: “Two years ago was the first time we went as volunteers and we got so much more from it! The friendship, camaraderie, being somewhere with other boaters of like mind.”

Christine Smith is the publicity manager of the festival and moved to Evesham five years ago.

She added: “IWA campaigns for the restoration and general wellbeing of the waterways throughout the country and it has had lots of successes. It’s been responsible for the restoration of about 500 miles of waterways.”

The event is expected to attract 15,000 visitors across the weekend and will involved food stalls and live music among other activities.

Helen Tidy runs her business Wild Side Preserves from her boat, the Jam Butty.

She said: “The IWA’s Festival of Water will be the first large scale event that we’ve been involved with since the pandemic began. 

“The Festival of Water represents something of a return to our usual trading and we are delighted to be able to take part.”

Meanwhile, Phil Underwood is one half of the folk duo DryWood.

He said: “As performers living on the canal, we are thrilled to be able to support an organisation who have done so much to revive the canals and who continue to work to advance the canal heritage.

“Like many musicians we have been unable to perform during the pandemic and we are immensely grateful to the IWA for this opportunity to bring our music to the public in such a beautiful setting.”

The event has been fully supported by Worcester City Council.

Councillor James Stanley: “The Canal is a fantastic asset, providing a haven for wildlife and an attractive route for walking, cycling and boating,

“This promises to be a great family event for the whole community to enjoy - we look forward to welcoming boaters from across the UK to Worcester for the August Bank Holiday weekend.”