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The Thames Festival 2006

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOR TWO days – Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17, visitors to London can enjoy spectacular free entertainment as the 2006 Thames Festival unfolds along the banks of the Thames.

The event, now in its 10th year, takes place in the very heart of London, between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge – on the river banks and on the adjacent riverside walkways and public open spaces.

Launched in 1997 with an amazing high wire walk across the river, the festival has grown to become the capital’s largest free, open-air arts festival. Last year, more than 470,000 people attended over the two day period.

Using pyrotechnics, illuminations, art installatons, river events, street theatre, massed choirs, circus and music, the festival not only showcases the best in street arts but also celebrates the history of the Thames.

And on Sunday night, it culminates in a spectacular Night Carnival when around 2,000 musicians, dancers and performers join a colourful procession lit by lanterns and illuminated costumes.

Starting at approximately 7pm at Victoria Embankment (by Waterloo Bridge), the procession will head eastwards before crossing the river at Blackfriars Bridge. The firework display which is expected to begin at about 9.45pm, will bring the festival to a close.

For more information visit the festival’s official website.