Matlock Bath Illuminations and Venetian Nights first took place in 1897 to celebrate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee, and have since become an annual event.
For many years the illuminations were candlelit, and residents would line the riverbanks with lamps and lanterns, while a procession of twinkling boats sailed down the river.
The electric light took over in 1950 but the candlelit tradition is maintained today as the boat parade continues to feature one candlelit boat.
The Matlock Bath Venetian Boat Builders’ Association mount their models on rowing boats which will be displayed on the River Derwent each Saturday and Sunday from September 10-October 29.
They can be seen from the Derwent Gardens entry for which you have to buy a ticket. Children go free, but it costs £7 on Saturday and £6 on Sunday. You can save a pound by booking online at http://www.derbyshiredales.gov.uk
This year there will be a fantastic firework display every Saturday evening from September 17, which will see the sky around Matlock Bath lit up in multi-colours. The fireworks will begin at 9pm with the best viewing positions being in the Bandstand area of Derwent Gardens.
Sunday evenings will be themed family fun evenings, with activities and crafts in the gardens.
Parking can be tricky so it really is advisable to use the park and ride or get there by public transport. Parking at the station car park in Matlock and getting the train is one of the best options.