Thousands expected at Rye’s annual Raft Race

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MORE than 5,000 people are expected to line the river bank for this year’s Rye Raft Race.

Rye Lions Club say plans are already well underway for the big event, which takes place on Sunday August 5.

Such has been the demand for stalls for the Fete, on Rye Salts, the Lions had to call a halt at 50 stalls.

There will be a barbecue, beer tent, live music, rides for children, including a huge bouncy castle and go-carts, ice-creams and many other attractions including crafts. The fete opens at noon and there is ample car parking.

The Raft Race starts at 2pm, subject to tidal conditions, with rafts assembling at 12.30pm.

Whilst entries are still coming in, the Lions say that a few more rafts could be accepted and entry packs can be obtained by ringing 0845 833 2825.

Rafts will compete over a 3-lap course downstream from the road bridge with viewing from the East bank and fishermen’s quay.

The fancy dressed crews on their decorated rafts bombard each other with flour and water bombs, with many spectators enthusiastically joining in. However, there is a strict ban on throwing anything hard or that could cause an injury, such as eggs or fruit.