THE popular Bradford Dragon Boat Festival will roar back to life this weekend, with a variety of activities set to take place at Roberts Park in Saltaire on Saturday and Sunday.

"It's all a bit short notice," said organiser John Galt. "We usually hold the festival in June, and after restrictions were eased we were determined for it go ahead.

"It's a more reduced format but we wanted to take the opportunity to do what we can, particularly to help the traders. Hopefully it will be back bigger and better next year."

John said, in in addition to the dragon boat races taking place every five to ten minutes, there will be food and drink stalls, children's entertainment including a funfair and live performances in the bandstand.

John, a former member of the British team that won the World Dragon Boat Championships in 1999, has been been the main organiser of the Bradford Dragon Boat Festival since it started up in Saltaire in 2014.

He said all of the teams are set to compete in a number of races over the weekend.

Each team gets three attempts to set a fast time, and the teams with the fastest times will advance to the semi-finals and eventually the final. There will be a champion on both days.

Races will take place from 10am to 4pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Each team is comprised of 16 forward facing rowers, a drummer at the front and a qualified steerer at the back. The steerer coaches the teams.

John says the festival is a fundraising platform with funds on Saturday going to support the Bradford Lord Mayor Appeal charities.

On Sunday, teams competing raise funds for a charity of their choice.