RETURNING for its fourth year, Mercia Marina Festival will have its fireworks display launched by none other than television The Only Way is Essex star, special guest Maria Fowler.
No doubt this scoop has something to do with the fact that Maria's parents are moorers at the marina!
Scheduled for the week-end of the 7th and 8th of July, the marina will be offering a host of family activities and entertainment, including craft stalls, children's rides, boat trips, real ales, live music and fireworks.
A wide range of food from around the world will also be available on more than a dozen specialist stalls, from authentic Italian cuisine to fine preserves and locally sourced organic vegetables and dairy farm produce.
For the first time, the Festival will also give visitors the chance to try their hand at water zorbing, where thrill-seekers can climb inside a giant inflated plastic ball and literally walk, run or spin across the marina water—without getting wet!
The festival, which is free, opens at noon on the Saturday, closing at 10pm after music and a firework display. On the Sunday the festival is open from noon to 6pm.
Robert Neff, General Manager of Mercia Marina, explains:
"This year's festival boasts even more stalls and entertainment than in previous years, so we're hoping for a big turnout. We're all very excited about the water zorbing, which should be a great spectacle. And I'm really grateful to Maria Fowler for agreeing to set off the fireworks on Saturday night."
Live music at this year's event will include Celtic folk-rock band Cruel Sister, singer-songwriter John Rockliffe and the lively Derby covers band Mrs Miggins' Pie Shoppe.
Other entertainment includes fairground rides and bouncy inflatables, live dance group, pony rides plus stalls selling ice-creams, herbs and boater craft, as well as a welcome return for Repton-based Redshaws Butchers.
Admission is free for all. Car parking at the marina will cost £2.00 per day.