Inflatable whale
  • Date: 16th June 2019
  • Location: Chatham
  • Time: 11:00 - 17:00
  • Cost: Free

What better way to spend Father’s Day than by the river? Come along to River Festival 2019, a free family festival celebrating maritime Medway.

Come along to the River Festival, a free family festival celebrating maritime Medway. 

There'll be plenty of water and land activities. Come along and get involved - it's taking place on Father's Day, so why not bring the whole family? 

The main viewing area will be Chatham Waterfront between Sun Pier (by B&M) and the end of the walkway outside Gun Wharf.


Highlights include:

  • have-a-go water activities including canoeing and kayaks (bring a towel!)
  • hovercraft displays
  • historic boat sail past
  • Fire Tug - watch out for their spinning water pistol!
  • exploring a giant inflatable 18metre whale (details below)
  • RE Army Boat Display - they will also have a boat on land
  • Fire Tug Water demonstration
  • arts and crafts in Chatham Library (details below)
  • dancing on the pier (details below)


Water activities:

  • 12noon: Army Display Team
  • 12.30pm: Hovercraft Display
  • 1pm: Sail Past including Historic Vessels
  • 1.30pm: SAR Flight and River Rescue Demonstration
  • 2pm: Fire Tug Display (look out for their famous spinning pistol)
  • 2.30pm: Hovercraft Display
  • 3.30pm: Army Display Team

*Please note times may be subject to change

Dance on the Pier schedule

Formerly known as The Big Dance, Dance on the Pier will be taking place and will include a mix of dance genres, ages and will also include some have-a-go sessions between 12noon to 4pm.

  • 12noon: Moving Memory Dance Theatre – Tipping the Balance
  • 12.15pm: Dance Alley
  • 12.25pm: Essence Dance
  • 12.30pm: Jade Street Dancers Troupe
  • 12.50pm: The Right Step Dance Company – Creative Dance workshop
  • 1.20pm: Cossons
  • 1.30pm: Paradox
  • 1.35pm: The Right Step Dance Company - Active Armchairs Workshop
  • 2.10pm: Moving Memory Dance Theatre
  • 2.25pm: Tai Chi/Chinese Dance  
  • 2.35pm: Hackett-Kyne Irish Dancing
  • 2.45pm: Loop Dance Company – Family Friendly Workshop
  • 3.15pm: Moving Memory Dance Theatre
  • 3.30pm: Upside Down Dance Academy
  • 3.40pm: Rheinstones Dance Company - The Daily Commute, Seniors, Juniors, Groups
  • 3.50pm: AMG Dance  - Funky Ballet Workshop
  • 3.55pm: James Walsh – Hip Hop solo artist

*Please note times may be subject to change

Highlights in more detail

The Whale: Plastic Bag Jellyfish Show 

A highlight this year is the giant inflatable 18 metre whale.

You can step inside the whale, meet the cheerful Navigator, and experience a beautiful, funny and interactive show.

This highlights the impact plastic has on our environment through a series of fun learning and theatrical experiences. 

river festival


Activities at Chatham Community Hub and library 

The hub will be open and will host activities including:

  • Medway Print Festival – printing workshops by local print artists, inspired by the river
  • Toddler Shake and Boogie session
  • Rainbow Fish drop-in activity

Fort Amherst and the Command of the Heights project  

Fort Amherst will be open to the public with activities including:

  • Dad’s Army tunnel tour
  • BBQ
  • guns and small cannon on display
  • children dress up
  • vintage tearoom (in the café)
  • adult education activity (making badges)
  • fort craft activity
    (charges apply to the above)

Getting to Chatham Waterfront

You can get to Chatham Waterfront from:

  • any bus into Chatham Waterfront bus station
  • the taxi rank at the Pentagon Shopping Centre
  • Chatham Train Station – about a 5 minute walk

Car parks include:

  • Pentagon Shopping Centre Car Park, Chatham, ME4 4AJ
  • Sir John Hawkins Car Park, Chatham, ME4 4JL
  • Fullagers Yard Car Park, The Paddock, Chatham, ME4 4YU
  • Riverside Car Park, Chatham Library, ME4 4SL

Please note Globe Lane Car Park will be closed during this event.

Ships at river festival



Two children sitting at The Historic Dockyard, Chatham.



River Festival logo 2019