Leeds-List: The Best & Most Insightful Guide to Leeds

Head to Leeds Waterfront Festival For A Jam-packed Weekend of Dragon Boat Racing, Street Food and a Brand New Aquathlon

· Emma Cooke · Culture

This year’s Leeds Waterfront Festival has something for everyone.

Leeds Waterfront Festival

Dragon boat races, family-friendly fun and a whole lot of street food – Waterfront Festival is back and it’s better than ever.

It’s that time of year again. Leeds Waterfront Festival is back and it’s set to transform the city’s waterways into a hub of street food, DJs and epic competitions. Between Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June 2019, you can expect a huge range of activities to take you from morning ’til night.

Leeds Waterfront Festival

The famous Tsingtao Dragon Boat Race always draws the biggest crowds. Settle into a spot by the water and cheer on 18 different boats with rowers kitted out in bizarre fancy dress. There will be four races spread across the day, so you’ll have plenty of chances to see the action.

But that’s not all. You can marvel at the sheer strength of the city’s bodybuilders in the Truck Pull and Leeds Strongest Human, which will be hosted by Primal Gym over at The Boulevard. But if you’d rather coo over adorable pooches, make a beeline for Gatsby and Poole’s dog shows.

Leeds Waterfront Festival

It’s one thing to spot boats on the dock, but how about swimmers? Fresh for 2019 is the all-new Aquathlon, which will see a gutsy set of racers take on a 250-metre swim in the dock, followed by a 4-kilometre run. If you don’t fancy getting hands-on, you can grab a great spot on the sidelines to cheer them on.

Foodies will get their fair share of treats too, as the British Street Food Awards Northern Heats return for yet another year. Twelve vendors will park up at Leeds Dock to battle it out for the top spot. You can gorge on light and fluffy baos by Little Bao Boy, heaving burritos by Mexican Pilgrim or crispy Korean chicken by Yoi Fried Chicken. This delicious grub is around all weekend, so stop by whenever you need to refuel.

Leeds Waterfront Festival

Although all the events are family-friendly, kids get their own set of activities too. Got a budding break dancer on your hands? Speak to the Streets will host dance workshops and games specially for little ones. A trip to Pop Up & Play is a must too. You can get stuck into colouring, go on treasure hunts and get plenty of snaps in fancy dress. If you have smaller tots, head to the Newbies caravan, where you can do everything from craft activities to interactive story reading.

There’s plenty more going on by the waterside, from stalls to workshops, so you won’t be stuck for things to do. Radio Aire will be covering the weekend’s antics from their own stall and DJs will be playing until 9pm on Saturday, so you can easily turn it into a late one.

Leeds Waterfront Festival takes place across Leeds’ waterways on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th June 2019.