Our History

1000 Pans. Photo: Steve Stills

Take a look back at our nineteen year rich and varied highlights.

  • Thames Festival 1997

    The first ever Thames Festival left the city enchanted as two tightrope walkers crossed the river 1,200 feet in the air. 

    Didier Pasquette and Jade Kindar-Martin set a Guinness World Record when they walked from the OXO Tower to HMS Wellington. 

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2001

    We became the Mayor’s Thames Festival in recognition of how central the festival was to London’s cultural offer. 

  • Kid's Choir, 2003

    We launched a new schools project aimed at increasing and supporting singing in schools. 

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2003

    This years festival climaxed with the Midnight Menagerie Procession of Light, led by the stunning Bajra the Peacock Boat made in West Bengal by lighting expert Sridhar Das.

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2005

    This year we worked with artists Charles Beauchamp and Julieta Rubio on the ever-popular The Night Carnival in collaboration with Johanna Primary School. 

  • Rivers of the World, 2005

    We launched a new cross-curricular arts education programme delivered in partnership with the British Council in secondary schools connecting young people with their local river and peers around the world. 

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2006

    The first Feast on the Bridge kicked off with great joy! Designed to bring people together to share food, talk, dance and to reclaim a beautiful bridge in the heart of the city.

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2007

    Tens of thousands of people flocked to the riverside for the festival's tenth birthday to enjoy fine river-inspired art, fireworks and feasting!



  • Diamond Jubilee Celebrations

    On 3 June 2012, London enjoyed one of the biggest events on the river featuring 50 Dunkirk little ships, the 16 Chinese dragon boats, sea kayaks, tugboats and fireboats spouting water jets 70 feet into the air.

  • The Mayor’s Thames Festival 2012

    In keeping with Olympic Games fever the 16th annual festival paid homage to Rio, drawing around 800,000 people to the waterside between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge plus a six meter high Lady Godiva led the Night Carnival.

  • Totally Thames, 2014

    An exciting new, month-long celebration of London’s river, Totally Thames launched featuring over a 100 river-related events with new art commissions from Dutch artist, Florentijn Hofman called HippopoThames.