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Time: 16:21 23 May 2011

London prepares for Mayor's Thames Festival

8th August 2011

Visitors to luxury London hotels in September will be able to enjoy the Mayor's Thames Festival, which is set to run on the 10th and 11th.

Sponsored by Barclaycard for the fifth year in a row, the festival is free of charge and promises to deliver a "spectacular two-day outdoor celebration of London and its river".

Last year, the Mayor's Thames Festival attracted over 825,000 visitors, with events taking place on the river, roads, bridges and public spaces between the London Eye and Tower Bridge.

Visitors will be treated to a variety of treats, such as music, dancing, street arts, river races, carnivals, pyrotechnics, art installations, choirs, food and feasting.

Organisers say the festivities will come to an end with an illuminated night carnival along the Thames and a "magnificent" fireworks display fired from the centre of the river.

Adrian Evans, the festival director, said: "The Thames Festival has got bigger and better year-on-year and 2011 will be no exception. We're looking forward to seeing everyone down by the river to celebrate the things that make London the fantastic city it is: its creativity, its culture and its diversity."

In 2010 alone, festival organisers commissioned 94 artworks, worked with 570 artists and art groups, and engaged over 10,000 young people in its year-round education and outreach programme.

The outreach programme hopes to work with every school in London by the end of 2012, providing workshops and getting kids involved in the preparation and performance of events.

Critics have praised the event in the past, with the Daily Mirror saying: "A spectacular, free, outdoor annual celebration for London which is not to be missed."

Time Out magazine added: "As a contender for London's best annual event, the Mayor's Thames Festival is right up there."

Where London concluded: "Marvellous, eye-catching and above all, fun."

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