London celebrates Totally Thames

Every year, London celebrates the capital’s most famous central waterway in a special event.

Launched in 1997, The Mayor’s Thames Festival now titled Totally Thames has grown to become the city’s largest free open-air arts festival.

Taking place in September it includes a host of events focussed on the River Thames – from art festivals and regattas to community events and on-the-water races.

Last year, around 2.7 million people attended over 150 Totally Thames events and is developing it to a must see event for tourists and local residents.

Totally Thames is supported by The Mayor of London, London First, Arts Council England, Port of London Authority and all of the 17 London boroughs that surround the river.

One of the highlights of last year’s festival was a piece by Dutch artist Florentijn Hofman, his first UK commission. HippopoThames was spotted by thousands of visitors happily wallowing in the waters at Nine Elms on the South Bank throughout September. Measuring some 21 metres, the art installation certainly drew many crowds.

The artist explained: “I am thrilled and excited to be using the Thames as the location of my first UK commission. The purpose of setting my sculptures in the public domain has always been to give members of the public a break from their daily routines, to inspire conversation and to cause astonishment.”

Totally Thames 2014 also included the Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Festival, which saw the largest fleet of Tall Ships to visit London in more than two decades. Visitors got to enjoy a spectacular firework display, as well as the chance to board many of the tall ships during their stay in the capital.

Details of the events planned for 2015 have not yet been released, but it is expected there will be lots of events showcasing local and international artists, with the chance to sample a wide variety of cuisine and enjoy music from around the world.

The events take place in various points along the Thames and further information will be available on the festival’s website as it is released.

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