Bideford’s Water Festival & Cardboard Regatta

Bideford Water Festival + Cardboat Race

You know, it I know, they know it. They’re going to sink and go down laughing their heads off!

Welcome to Bideford, a town steeped in history and community spirit.

Join us as we dive into the exhilarating world of Bideford’s Water Festival & Cardboat Regatta, a beloved community event that brings together locals and visitors alike.

This year, we are thrilled to celebrate the 450th anniversary of Bideford’s charter, granted by none other than Queen Elizabeth I herself.

Get ready for a day filled with laughter, camaraderie, and waves of fun!

Bideford’s Water Festival + Cardboard Boat Regatta celebrates the 450th anniversary of Bideford being granted a Charter by Queen Elizabeth 1st and the coronation of a new King.
Participants can build a cardboard boat and compete in the Cardboard Boat Regatta with prizes for the most entertaining and the best capsize.
The Paddleboard Challenge and Right Royal Fancy Dress Competition are also available for participants.
Boats on display include steamboats, model boats, sailing dinghies, and canoes.
The event is free for everyone to attend and all costs are covered by generous sponsors.
Donations received will be distributed to Torridge and North Devon charities, local schools, and other good causes in the local community.

Festival Activities

At Bideford’s Water Festival, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Prepare to be amazed as participants compete in the thrilling Cardboard Regatta, where homemade boats crafted entirely from cardboard brave the river’s currents.

Witness the creativity and determination of the participants as they navigate the course, vying for victory.

Prizes await those with the most entertaining boat and even the best capsize, ensuring laughter and excitement for all.

For those seeking a different kind of challenge, the Paddleboard Challenge awaits.

Whether you’re an adult or a youth over 10 years old, grab a paddleboard and take in the breathtaking views of the river while paddling your way to victory.

Don’t miss the Right Royal Fancy Dress Competition, open to all ages. Unleash your inner creativity and showcase your most impressive attire, adding a touch of elegance to the festivities.

Participants can find the construction rules, application form, and sponsorship form on the Rotary Club of Bideford website.

Community Impact

Bideford’s Water Festival is not only a day of enjoyment but also a testament to the town’s enduring legacy and community-driven spirit.

Organized by the Rotary Club of Bideford, this event is made possible by the support of generous sponsors who cover all costs.

Furthermore, any donations received during the festival will be distributed to Torridge and North Devon charities, local schools, and other good causes within our community.

By participating, you contribute to the betterment of our beloved town and its residents.

Bideford Water Festival Paddleboarding
Bideford Water Festival Paddleboarding by @matt_gent

Aside from these exciting activities, there will also be a variety of boats on display, including:

  • Steamboats
  • Model boats
  • Sailing dinghies
  • Canoes

The quayside will be lined with music, entertainment, games, and stalls, as well as food, drinks, and ice creams, making it a great day out for everyone.

Bideford Water Festival + Cardboat Race
Bideford Water Festival + Cardboard Regatta

Featured Places to Stay Near Bideford

Exploring Bideford

While attending the Water Festival, take the opportunity to explore the charming town of Bideford and its beautiful surroundings.

Discover the top 11 gardens and castles nearby, immerse yourself in the rich history of Bideford, or indulge in the delightful local restaurants at various eateries.

Whether it’s strolling along the quayside, visiting historical landmarks, or engaging in thrilling outdoor activities, Bideford offers a much of experiences to enhance your stay.

Water Festival Video

Here is a video of the cardboard boat racing at the Bideford Water Festival that happened last 2017.

  • The video shows the participants racing using their cardboat.
  • You can also see different shapes, sizes and colours of the cardboat.
  • Overall, participants enjoyed the cardboard regatta.

If you want to relive the excitement from previous Water Festivals, you can visit the Bideford Water Festival Facebook page, where there are plenty of photos to browse through.

Bideford Water Festival+Cardboat Regatta
Bideford Water Festival+Cardboat Regatta

Whether you’re cheering on the daring participants or simply enjoying the lively atmosphere, the Bideford Water Festival promises a day filled with laughter, camaraderie, and community spirit.

So mark your calendars for the 11th of June 2023 and join us for this beloved community event that truly embodies the essence of Bideford.

And Finally

Save the date June 11th, 2023 for Bideford’s Water Festival & Cardboat Regatta.

This beloved community event celebrates not only the 450th anniversary of Bideford’s charter but also the vibrant spirit and unity that define our town.

Join us for a day of unforgettable memories, where laughter echoes through the air and the river comes alive with cardboard boats and paddleboards.

Come be part of our shared heritage and experience the true essence of Bideford.

Plan your visit today and prepare to dive into waves of fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the frequently asked questions regarding the water festival in Bideford.

Q: What is the Water Festival in Bideford?
A: The Water Festival in Bideford is an annual event that celebrates the town’s maritime heritage and promotes water-based activities. It features various exciting events and attractions centred around the River Torridge, including boat races, water sports demonstrations, live music, food stalls, and entertainment for all ages.

Q: When is the Cardboard Boat Regatta held in Bideford?
A: The Cardboard Boat Regatta in Bideford is typically held during the Water Festival, which takes place in the summer. The exact date may vary each year, so it is advisable to check the festival’s official website or local event listings for the most up-to-date information on the specific date and time of the Cardboard Boat Regatta.

Q: How can I participate in the Cardboard Boat Regatta?
A: To participate in the Cardboard Boat Regatta, you will need to follow the registration process outlined by the organizers. Typically, participants are required to build a boat entirely out of cardboard and participate in a race along the River Torridge. Detailed information about registration, boat specifications, rules, and entry fees can be found on the Water Festival’s official website or by contacting the event organizers directly.

Q: What other events are part of the Water Festival in Bideford?
A: The Water Festival in Bideford offers a wide range of events and activities beyond the Cardboard Boat Regatta. Some of the additional events you can expect during the festival include boat parades, jet ski demonstrations, water skiing displays, paddleboard races, live music performances, fireworks, children’s activities, craft markets, and delicious food stalls. The festival aims to provide a diverse and enjoyable experience for visitors of all ages and interests.

Q: Are there any age restrictions for participating in the Cardboard Boat Regatta?
A: The age restrictions for participating in the Cardboard Boat Regatta may vary depending on the specific rules set by the event organizers. While some regattas may have age categories or divisions, others may allow participants of all ages to compete together. It is advisable to review the event guidelines or contact the organizers directly for accurate and up-to-date information regarding age restrictions or any other eligibility requirements.

Q: Where can I find more information about the Water Festival in Bideford?
A: For more information about the Water Festival in Bideford, you can visit the official website of the festival, which usually provides comprehensive details about the event schedule, participating activities, registration processes, and contact information for any inquiries. Additionally, you can check local event listings, community websites, or social media platforms for updates and announcements related to the Water Festival in Bideford.

Author Matt Ogborne
Matt Ogborne
About the Author

Welcome to! I’m Matt, a seasoned explorer and avid fan of Bideford and the broader North Devon area. With over a decade of consistent family visits, virtually every weekend, I’ve immersed myself in the rich history and vibrant culture Bideford & North Devon.

On this site, you’ll find a wealth of knowledge amassed from my adventures here. From in-depth local guides to engaging blog posts about Bideford. Whether you’re looking for recommendations on things to do or guidance on where to stay we have you covered. Join me as we delve into the heart of Bideford, North Devon – a town that’s more than just a destination, but an experience waiting to be discovered.

Do you want to see your favourite Bideford attraction, place to stay, event or activity listed here? Contact Us!