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THOUSANDS of boating fanatics are set to descend on the county for a ‘massive event’.

Canal Day in Banbury will go ahead this year, despite previous cancellations after a delay to building work planned for the waterside.

Organisers Banbury Town Council say visitors are guaranteed a variety of stalls, including food vendors, music courtesy of Banbury Folk Festival, funfair and plenty of ‘water-based action’.

Mayor Cllr Colin Clarke said: “Canal Day is a massive event with around 12,000 visitors – some travelling long distances to get here.

“It is good news that we can have the event this year when all seemed lost.

“I want to thank Castle Quay for telling us of the change of plan as soon as they were aware of it.

“Many boaters – especially traders – plan their year with Banbury Canal Day in mind and we hope they are still available.”

Entertainment in Spiceball Park and considerably varied and will visitors try their hand at falconry or even go-karting.

There will also be a variety of traders and workshops outside The Mill.

The council’s events manager Ann Sewell said: “We have two months to organise something that normally takes nine months – but rest assured this year will be an exciting and entertaining event with something for everyone.”

Canal Day 2017 was cancelled earlier this year because demolition and construction work – part of the Castle Quay Two expansion – on the canalside north of General Foods Social Club was due to start this month.

But the work will not now begin until after the traditional Canal Day date – this year October 1.

Paul Jackson, Castle Quay’s centre manager, said: “The start date for CQ2 was put back and we realised straight away that Canal Day could go ahead as usual.

“It is an event that attracts many thousands of people and is good for the town.

“We hope the day is a massive success and we are delighted to sponsor the event once again.”

The new shopping facility will host a 1,300 seat eight-screen cinema - believed to be owned by Curzon - alongside six new restaurants and a cafe, which will offer alfresco dining with a scenic view of the canal.

Opening hours are expected to be until after midnight.

A planning decision by Cherwell District Council is expected later in the spring, with a view to CQ2 being fully open for Christmas 2018.