Banbury Canal Festival - September/October 2023

Banbury Canal Festival

During the weekend of September 30th and October 1st, Banbury commemorated its historic canal through the Canal Festival. The event showcased the canal's integral role in the town’s growth, fostering goods, trade, and generating jobs and wealth since its establishment in 1778.

In a unique twist, the Sealed Knot (the UK's oldest re-enactment company) re-enacted scenes from the English Civil War, reminding onlookers of Banbury Castle's role in the 1640's conflict. The castle, initially held by Royalist forces, was eventually captured by Parliamentarians who ordered its demolition. Although the castle is no more, Castle Street provides a clue, and Castle Quay shopping centre now occupies part of the castle site.

Organised by Banbury Town Council, the canal festival was a free-to-enter event with fun both on and off the water. Banbury Mayor Fiaz Ahmed, arrived by narrowboat to open the event, described it as a fantastic festival and emphasized that it not only brought excitement and a touch of history to the town but also enhanced people’s understanding of the place they call home.
The two-day waterside extravaganza featured floating markets, fairground attractions, arts performances, music, comedy, and theatre, making it a fun-packed weekend for all families.


Canal Festival 2023