Melksham's first River Festival is this weekend on the River Avon when a flotilla of boats will take to the water.

Visitors can see displays of unusual steam and wilderness boats, as well as canoe races and demonstrations by Wiltshire Youth Canoe Club, Wiltshire Fire Service and Bradford on Avon Diving Club.

Traditional fairground rides, food stalls, a beer tent and live music on the King George V Playing Field are also planned for the Wilts & Berks Canal Trust event sponsored by Leekes of Melksham. The trust’s narrow-boat, the Dragonfly, is giving visitors a chance to have scenic cruises up the river and back throughout the weekend.

Festival director Ian Simpson said: “This event is to both publicise the forthcoming Melksham Link, when boats will once more be able to travel to the centre of the town, and to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the abandonment of the Wilts & Berks Canal. We hope to welcome many Melksham people and others.”