Sun shines on Waterfront Festival at Leeds Dock

Leeds Waterfront Festival proved the perfect place for people to cool off as the city enjoyed a scorcher in the sunshine.

By Emma Ryan
Saturday, 29th June 2019, 3:31 pm
Making a splash at this year's Leeds Waterfront Festival.
Making a splash at this year's Leeds Waterfront Festival.

With today set to be the hottest day of the year so far, thousands descended upon the city's wharfs, docks and canal sides to celebrate the heritage of the Leeds waterways.

It is the 12th year, the festival kicked off at 9am this morning (Saturday) at Leeds Dock with the first of a series of dragon boat races that continued throughout the day featuring 20 corporate teams pitting their paddles against each other in front of the crowds.

Making a splash at this year's Leeds Waterfront Festival.

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Throughout the day there have been family activities, fitness challenges and tomorrow will see the first Leeds Dock Aquathlon, with participants taking part in a 250m swim in the dock, followed by a 4km run.

There were food and drink traders to help keep punters cool, while they battled it out for votes in the British Street Food Awards Northern Heats.

Dr Mark Hallam from Forward Leeds, an alcohol and drugs service for adults and young people was leading a team of 20 at today's races.

He said: "This is the second year we have done it. We enjoyed it last year and wanted to come back. We have brought a stall offering advice about alcohol and drugs, so it is about that but being part of the community as well.

Dr Paul Bamber and Clinical Director Dr Mark Hallam of Forward Leeds. Picture Mark Hindwell.

"The atmosphere of the event is tremendous, none of us are very good but we are having a lot of fun."

Other challenges taking place over the weekend are the Primal Gym truck pull and the Leeds’s strongest human contest as well as a dog agility course.

Alex Webb, director at Leeds Dock, said: “The Waterfront Festival is the highlight of our year at Leeds Dock and we’ve worked hard to build this into one of the must-do events in the Leeds city-wide calendar as well.

"We’ve got something on offer for everyone this year; live music, performances and displays will be happening at the dock all day on both the Saturday and Sunday, so there’ll be something to keep you entertained, whatever your reason for visiting us.”