Water Fest is back
This year, visitors will be able to take a historic tour of the town and see a photographic exhibition focusing on the Kennet and Avon Canal, plus they can take part in a programme of themed events as part of Reading’s Year of Culture.
Water Fest is also linking up with Reading Green Fest which will offer visitors more attractions to visit in Town Hall Square and St Laurence Church.
The celebration of Reading’s waterways, organised by Reading Borough Council in partnership with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, gives visitors the opportunity to view an array of beautifully decorated canal boats, visit craft and community stalls, take a trip on a narrowboat and enjoy some great live music.
Chestnut Walk will host stalls offering a range of hand crafted items such as jewellery, prints, jams and toys while Riverside Walk will be lined with stands run by local charity and community groups.
The Kennet and Avon Canal Trust will be running relaxing journeys on its narrowboat throughout the day.
A large array of different boats moored along the length of the site will also take part in three parades throughout the day and will then be judged in the best dressed boat competition.
Forbury Gardens will be offering a mix of traditional and contemporary music and dance with highlights including the Acoustic Beatles and La Mort Subite and performances from Beatroots Bateria, Shinfield Shambles and two winning choirs from this year’s Let’s Sing Choir Competition, The Barbarettes and the Bulmershe Ensemble.
There will also be a host of children’s activities and entertainment on offer in the Gardens, including free face painting and balloon modelling.
A new feature for this year is being hosted by local photographer and historian Chris Forsey. He will be offering two circular History Walks and a Photographic Exhibition featuring some of Chris’ images of the Kennet and Avon Canal in the Turbine Room in Blake’s Lock.
Bel & The Dragon will be holding a barbecue all day and hosting the Steve Morano Band throughout the afternoon.
Special Water Fest inspired storytelling will also take place on a boat courtesy of the Novella Project, which offers young authors the chance to have their work published.
A mini festival of water curated by live artist and sculptor Amy Sharrocks is also taking place as part of Reading’s Year of Culture. Events include Drifting, where two boats will be available all day for people to drift on the canal, Reading Water installation under Forbury Bridge, Water Workshops for children in the Forbury Bandstand, a Water Fight in the Gardens and A Message to You by Plan B which involves text messages being shouted across the river at The Oracle.
Reading Green Fest will be celebrating everything sustainable and environmental in Reading with fun activities for all ages at Town Hall Square and St Laurence Church.
Visit http://www.reading.gov.uk/waterfest for full details of events at Water Fest or pick up a leaflet at the Civic Offices, libraries or leisure centres throughout the borough.