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A summer of fun!

July 1, 2022 8:00 AM
Originally published by Dave Hodgson - Mayor of Bedford Borough

Italian Festival 2022Following on from the Platinum Jubilee, last weekend we saw the return of the Armed Forces Parade and entertainment in Harpur Square for the first time since the pandemic started.

This weekend, the Italian Festival will take place on Sunday with food and drink stalls from some of the Borough's excellent Italian restaurants and amazing entertainment. You can find out more, including timings at https://www.spectacularts.co.uk/latest-news/.

There is lots more fun to come in the next couple of months.

It is not long now until the River Festival's welcome return on 23rd and 24th July.

As you will recall the 2020 River Festival was potsponed due the Coronavirus pandemic. This was not a decision that was taken lightly. Everyone involved in the River Festival is determined this year's event will be the biggest and best yet!

We will see the return of lots of the River Festival's favourites, from the music stages and fun fair, the dragon boat and raft races on the river, and lots of stalls and activities to get involved with across the Embankment, Mill Meadows and St Mary's Gardens.

For the first time in the River Festival's history, Bedford High Street will be closed for the whole weekend to bring the fun and celebrations into the town centre. The High Street, sponsored by Bedford BID, will host the Festival of Motoring, with 100 vehicles on display.

Also for the first time we will have 'Bands on the Bridge' on the Town Bridge and a dedicated vegan area on Castle Mound.

It was recently announced that the 'BBC Music Introducing' stage will make its first ever appearance at the Bedford River Festival. BBC Music Introducing has been there at the start of music careers for artists like Tom Grennan, James Bay, Griff, George Ezra and many others.

To be considered to play on the stage upload your music to https://www.bbc.co.uk/introducing. The River Festival sees a quarter of a million visitors over the weekend and it will be really exciting to give local musicians and artists this platform to perform.

The Council will be announcing more news and activities as we get closer to the big weekend, and you can find out more at https://riverfestival.bedford.gov.uk/ including how to get involved and participate in some of the many activities taking place.

We will also see the return of Bedfringe, which will run between 21st-31st July. You can find out more at https://bedfringe.com.

At the end of July Bedford Park Concerts will take place in Bedford Park with Simply Red, Lisa Stansfield, Paul Weller, Café Mambo and Bedford Park Proms.

August will see the Jamaican Independence Day celebrations on Saturday 6th, the African Festival on Sunday 7th and the Asian Festival on Sunday 28th and the return of Music in the Meadows with performances at the Bandstand in Mills Meadows every Sunday in August starting with Bedford Town Band on Sunday 7th.