Countdown to a fun-filled Platinum Jubilee Water Fest

The countdown has started for Reading Council’s much-loved Reading Water Fest on Saturday 4 June - this year as the flagship celebration event to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Reading is celebrating thirty-three wonderful Water Fest years with a programme full of fun, music, dance and activities.

This year Water Fest welcomes special guests “Prolisok”, a London based Ukrainian Dance group, to the Global Festival Stage during the afternoon. The group bring with them a unique style, reflecting the true diversity and soul of Ukrainian culture. The dance routines combine traditional steps, colourful and energetic folk routines with fresh ideas and modern choreography. More than ever, they pride themselves on showing the world the beauty of Ukraine’s rich culture.

Prolisok will be performing on the day alongside other firm Water fest favourites, such as Ding Dong Daddios, Dolly and the Clothespegs, La Mort Subite and Limpopo Groove and many more fantastic acts on the Chestnut walk floating stage throughout the day.

This accessible one-day event, which is run in partnership with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust, will take place between 11 am and 5 pm within the Forbury Gardens, Abbey Ruins and along the River Kennet.

In the Dormitory this year four artists in residency will be collecting inspiration and sharing their creative processes within and around the grounds of Reading Abbey in recognition of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Take part in the workshops.

This event will also celebrate and showcase the Kennet Canal in all its glory, along with the gorgeous and historic spots on its towpath, with the chance to spot beautifully painted boats and chat with boaters. Don’t miss the extra special duck race!

A huge array of traders, charities and community organisations will line the Kennet. Visitors will have a chance to browse hand-crafted items such as jewellery, jams, prints and toys along Chestnut Walk.

Visitors might also bump into a few characters from the past, dressed in full replica costumes, as they wander around Reading’s historic quarter. Join Reading Museum and The Museum of English Rural Life with Museum on Wheels at Waterfest, where you can handle some real objects from Huntley and Palmers, and have a go at our biscuit or jubilee themed craft. Learn about the history of Huntley and Palmers and everything that both museums are doing to celebrate 200 years of Reading as the Biscuit Town. And in the Forbury Gardens where Blue Collar Street Food will be offering a great selection of food and drink from around the world.

Join Becoming Mums and mothers from all across the town for ‘Mothers are Queens’ sharing stories in their new project based on Chestnut Walk on the day. Bring a piece of fabric that means something to you and join in with the Jubilee quilt making.

As part of Children’s Festival this year Jelly have run school and community workshops making flags as part of our ‘River of Hope.’  These silk flags were decorated using block printing techniques with designs inspired by our waterways.  Come along and see these flags on display along the Kennet as part of this year’s event.

Further information on WaterFest.

Water Fest is brought to you by Reading Borough Council in partnership with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust. This hard-working charity is committed to enhancing and promoting the canal for people to enjoy – both on and off the water!

Water Fest 2022 has been generously part-funded by Arts Council England.