Thousands of visitors enjoy Four Winds Festival at Rutland Water

Four winds festival at Rutland Water. Alfie Cutmore, eight. Photo: SM260611-026ow.jpg
Four winds festival at Rutland Water. Alfie Cutmore, eight. Photo: SM260611-026ow.jpg

THE Four Winds Festival at Rutland Water last Saturday and Sunday has been hailed as a great success by its organisers.

More than 5,000 people attended the festival or the performances of The Way the Winds Blow at Normanton over the weekend.

The Four Winds Festival itself ran for two days and was a free event that highlighted arts and tourism in the county as part of the Rutland Festival Fortnight.

Among the attractions were Rutland Open Studios, which had a giant marquee filled with arts and crafts created by Rutland people; a creative arts tent where children were invited to make a fish or a bird which were all stuck onto a giant board the shape of Rutland Water; circus skills workshops, which included juggling and diablo; wind chimes; WaterAid; Barnsdale Gardens, which was highlighting which plants are drought-proof; the British Ornithological Society; Rutland Falconry and Owl Centre; the Merry Monk in Oakham, which provided a barbecue and refreshments; Rutland Sailing Club and Rutland Sailability and the Senegalese Drummers.

Joy Everitt, from Arts for Rutland, said: “It was brilliant. There was a lovely atmosphere and it was really well attended. The whole place was buzzing with activity.

“The children in particular really enjoyed themselves and stayed for ages because there was so much for them to do and take part in.

“It shows just how interested young people in the county are when there is something for them to create.”

In the evening, scores of people turned out for the performances of The Way the Winds Blow which took over Rutland Water in a production that told the tale of the creation of the reservoir and was narrated by actress Hannah Gordon.

Boats, including the Rutland Belle, were choreographed into the performance, and children from all over the county took part.

The main attraction was a giant osprey puppet.

Arts for Rutland chairman Peter Lawson said: “It went very well and we had two superb days. We had three orchestras that blended together and all of the puppetry worked.

“Saturday was overcast but the wind helped the sailing activity.

“Sunday was glorious and we had a lot more visitors.

“It was a great thing, the kind of which Rutland has never seen, and it will be remembered by everyone involved.”