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Mayor’s Thames Festival to become 10-day event

The Mayor's Thames Festival has announced plans to expand from a weekend event to a 10-day programme over a wider geographic area.

The Thames Festival has been held annually each September since 1997 and has been concentrated on the south bank of the river between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge.

Organised by the Thames Festival Trust, the event was a reincarnation of river-based festivals organised by the Greater London Council.

Last year the event marked the grand finale for London's sporting summer, with the festival coinciding with the end of the Paralympic Games.

In 2013 – faced with a decline in sponsorship income – the organisers have announced a change in direction, with a more modest 10-day programme spanning a wider geographic area replacing the intense weekend of riverside activities.

"By shedding the restriction of a weekend and broadening its geographical horizons, combined with a fantastic and wide-ranging programme of events, the festival will inspire people to re-connect with London's greatest natural asset in new and surprising ways," said festival director Adrian Evans.

The new-look festival will run from 6 to 15 September will feature a night-time river opera by Turner-prize nominated artist Richard Wilson and Zatorski + Zatorski.

Other confirmed events include riverside screenings of Nikolaj Larsen's A Portrait of the Thames in 125 short films and new river commissions from Doug Fishbone, Hew Locke and Layla Curtis.

Activities on the water will include a rally of Dunkirk 'little ships'.

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