The ground is all wett and marshy but there are severall little Channells runs into it which by boats people go up to this place; when you enter the mouth of the Mer it looks formidable and its often very dangerous by reason of sudden winds that will rise like Hurricanes...." The town is still accessible by water, connected to the river Nene by King's Dyke which forms part of the Nene-Ouse Navigation link.
Moorings can be found at Ashline Lock alongside the Manor Leisure Centre's cricket and football pitches.
The festival has now expanded to cover the whole weekend when the Bear appears (not Plough Tuesday nowadays, but the second weekend in January instead).
On the Saturday of the festival, the Bear processes around the streets with its attendant "keeper" and musicians, followed by numerous traditional dance sides (mostly visitors), including morris men and women, molly dancers, rapper and longsword dancers, clog dancers and others, who perform at various points along the route.
Whittlesey was also infamous for its number of public houses; folk lore dictates that, at one time, there were 52 - one for each week of the year.
In other history, Whittlesey was an important trade route in the late Bronze Age (about 1100-800 BC), where civilisations traded with many places, including the Balkans.
An art competition, for students of Sir Harry Smith Community College also runs with the festival, with entries displayed throughout the day in the Whittlesey Christian Church.