Published: 10:06, 06 February 2019
| Updated: 11:01, 06 February 2019
It's back. The Maidstone River Festival will be on again this year, after a generous donation from a local developer.
Weston Homes, currently building at Springfield, Maidstone, has stepped in with an offer of £15,000 to sponsor the festival this summer.
The news is a personal triumph for the Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Dave Naghi, who has made it his personal mission to find a commercial sponsor after Maidstone council declined to support the project.
Bob Weston, the chairman of Weston Homes, said: “Weston Homes is delighted to sponsor the Maidstone River Festival.
"This is a great family day out, showcasing the beautiful River Medway and bringing together the whole community.
"It’s important to Weston Homes to be part of local traditions and celebrate family values. We hope the Maidstone community is looking forward to this fantastic summer event and we are excited to be part of it.”
Cllr Naghi said the festival would be on Saturday, July 27, and would include raft races and other water-based activities, a firework finale and the possibility of some shore-based events.
He said: "This is fantastic news for the town - and it's great to get the support of Weston Homes.
"The River Festival is a lot of fun; it's also a good way to bring people to the town to support our traders."
His views were echoed by Lloyd Wright, the centre manager for Fremlin Walk.
He said: "We're keen to lend our support. The River Festival is a fantastic event and anything that brings increased footfall to the town will be welcomed by business."
Weston Homes is fast becoming Maidstone's new saviour. In January, the company announced that it would give £100,000 to Maidstone council in order to resurrect the Proms In The Park concerts in Whatman Park, securing the event for at least the next five years.