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Page last updated at 11:46 GMT, Thursday, 19 August 2010 12:46 UK
Henley's Mayor welcomes festivals as Rewind rocks up
by Jenny Minard
BBC Berkshire Reporter

River Thames
Henley Regatta draws huge crowds to the banks of the River Thames

With the Rewind Festival fast approaching, the people of Henley are celebrating a successful summer of events.

BBC Radio Berkshire has been looking into what the cultural events mean to the town's mayor.

They start in March with the Youth Festival, which is a range of activities including arts, culture and sport.

The festivals then run through until the Literary Festival in September.

"I think it brings a lot of happiness to the town," Henley Town Council Mayor Jane Wood said.

"It shows we are thriving. For a small town we have a lot going on and there is a lot of culture here if people want to appreciate it."

Jane explained how there was a Wellbeing Festival during the summer, where experts from as far away as Japan travelled to the town.

She said her personal favourite was the Fringe which was held in July.

Literary Festival

"They are all wonderful. We have the Literary Festival coming up and we have some marvellous authors coming in. It gets bigger every year which shows the success of it.

Henley Town Council works with Britain in Bloom

"If people are willing to come here to promote their books and to give lectures, it means we've got a successful thing going.

"The feedback we have is very positive. About how beautiful it is - and it is - we've got such a lovely spot by the river.

"We do a lot with Britain in Bloom, so it always looks so beautiful because there are so many flowers, hanging baskets and troughs of flowers.

"It is a beautiful town - the annoying thing is it is old so we have roads which are narrow - but we all like that, and we're used to it.

"I think the only thing which people get annoyed with is at Regatta, the traffic is slower obviously because there is a lot more of it. However the last few years it has flowed really well.

"There is always such a lovely positive atmosphere in the town. I think if people come just for a festival then they will come back at another time to actually enjoy the town.

"We should welcome these festivals with open arms.

"You've got to have a feel good atmosphere in the town. It must bring much more trade to the shops. We have marvellous shops. We have one-off shops that you don't get in other towns."

Other events which run each summer include the Film Festival in May, the Regatta in June, and the Music Festival in July.

Rewind takes place this weekend and the Literary Festival takes place on 30 September until 3 October.

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