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River Festival

Many local charities, businesses and groups are looking for new opportunities to generate the vital income they would usually achieve at the annual Cuckoo Fair, which isn’t happening this year. One idea is to make 2024 the year we work together on a programme of small events to enable local groups and businesses to raise funds and have some fun. This won’t replace the Cuckoo fair in any way, it will simply provide a platform to help local groups to coordinate smaller events throughout the year.

Following on from the public meeting, held at the beginning of February, several organisations and individuals have signed up to collaborate on organising events under the River Festival Banner. A second meeting is scheduled for February 29 in the Memorial Hall to make further plans.  For a list of interested organisations, click here.

CP river in summer_edited.jpg

The river at Downton

The Downton River Festival is simply a platform to connect groups to collaborate on events, help create a plan, coordinate dates with a central calendar to avoid clashes and encourage collaboration, create artwork and publicise the programme. Each event of the Downton River Festival will be organised and run by the groups themselves. Small events could include anything

from a village fete to craft fairs, guided walks, entertainment evenings, art exhibitions, open air cinema, maypole dance, parade or duck race - all ideas are welcome! 

Why a ‘river’ festival?

The reason that Downton is here is because this is where the Romans and others crossed the river. The river has provided Downton with food, wildlife and prosperity and has inspired artists and writers through the centuries. A light river theme is broad enough to unite the events and will help us promote the programme widely and attract visitors. The theme will have clear links to the village which means that locals and visitors can learn about our river, its history and ecology.

More information?

To keep in touch with the progress watch social media or the InDownton website. To put forward suggestions, email:  At this stage InDownton is simply offering a platform to enable the idea to develop, and its website and publishing resources which could be used to support the Festival.

Link to calendar of River Festival events

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