Canalway Cavalcade: London's Colourful Floating Festival Returns In May

Laura Reynolds
By Laura Reynolds Last edited 6 months ago

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Canalway Cavalcade: London's Colourful Floating Festival Returns In May
a row of narrowboats festooned in bunting
Image: Paddington Now

Dozens of narrowboats — festooned in flags and bunting — descend on Little Venice this May bank holiday weekend for the IWA colourful Canalway Cavalcade.

The floating festival moors up in west London to celebrate the communities that live on the waterways — but you don't need a boat to attend. The event is open to anyone, completely free, and accessible via the local towpaths.

The boats themselves are decked out with colourful bunting and other festival-style decorations, making for a photogenic day out. Stalls line the water's edge selling food and drink, plants, crafts, gifts and all manner of boating paraphernalia. Entertainment includes live music and children's activities. In short: it's a fab afternoon out.

Photo: IWA Canalway Cavalcade

The festival was, of course, cancelled in 2020, and took place as a virtual event in 2021. But if 2019's show is anything to go by, expect around 150 boats taking part. Aptly, the 2022 event's theme is 'welcome back'.

The illuminated boat parade is a highlight of the event each year, happening on Sunday evening, and led by a master of ceremonies.

The IWA Canalway Cavalcade takes place at Little Venice, 30 April-2 May 2022, centring on the triangle of water known as Browning's Pool (W2 6NE). It's free for the public to attend, and is a five-minute walk from Paddington and Warwick Avenue stations.

Last Updated 06 April 2022

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