A ‘river goddess’ dazzled crowds at Reading’s annual water festival held last Saturday.

The Water Fest is held in June every year as a celebration of Reading’s canals and waterways, with this year’s event featuring an incredible ‘river goddess’ puppet created by artist Kim Kaos.

The ‘goddess’ processed through the festival with Extinction Rebellion members singing a song about water, including the line ‘all things thrive where water is clean’. Some of the group also provided a musical accompaniment with tubular bells. A ceremony followed, where members of the public poured water from the River Kennet into a water bowl.

The puppet even ‘spoke’, along with her acolytes, of her sadness at the state of the River Wye, with activists claiming that pollution is killing the river. She also spoke of the same situation facing the River Thames.

The ‘goddess’ then processed through the festival again, stopping to ‘bless’ visitors.

Later there was a second ceremony with support again from Extinction Rebellion activists.

People brought water from various rivers and streams in Berkshire to be added to water collected from the Kennet, which was then ‘blessed’ by the goddess for people to take home phials of the water.

Extinction Rebellion also had an information and activities stall by the river at the Huntley Wharf development.

The Water Fest is a free event organised by Reading Borough Council in partnership with the Kennet and Avon Canal Trust.