A canal-themed afternoon at the Oxford Canal Festival

Published: Wednesday, 22nd June 2016

Oxford City Council is supporting Oxford Canal Day, a family event on Saturday 25 June from 2 till 6pm at Aristotle Lane Recreation Ground, near Phil and Jim School and next to the Anchor pub.

Organised by Oxford Canal Heritage, the revived festival aims to celebrate this less well-known canal and will offer live music, food and drink, Canal Olympics, a dog show, competitions, children’s entertainment, a funfair and many other attractions.

Councillor James Fry, who chairs the festival said: “The core feature of the festival is participation of boaters and the local community in a fun and worthwhile event. It is impressive that primary schools were involved in the writing competition for children on the topic of the Oxford Canal. A well-known author and historian, Mark Davies, who lives on one of the canal boats, is also offering guided tours along the towpath on the day of the festival. There’s a nature spotting event planned on the Trap Grounds nature reserve and many other activities that draw attention to this wonderful waterway.”

The Oxford Canal is a distinctive destination enjoyed by walkers, cyclists, anglers, and visitors and is home to a large boating community. It is one of Oxford’s best kept secrets. Oxford City Council is a member of the Oxford City Canal Partnership, a project set up in 2009 to preserve this important and characterful waterway.

Tony Joyce, chair of the Oxford City Canal Partnership added: “This is a very special opportunity for all Oxford citizens to come and experience the unique part which the Canal continues to play in the history and present life of the city. It should also be a very enjoyable day for all members of the family. We look forward to seeing you there.”

Oxford City Council has helped increase the number of events that take place on the land it manages from 50 in 2010 to more than 300. Now, the Canal Festival is one of a number of events that are appearing for the first time or returning to our calendar..

Councillor Louise Upton said: "We are highly supportive of our vibrant boating community. This is a brilliant event to highlight the importance of this historic North Oxford Canal and we are happy to see it back as a location for such a fun and interesting event.”