Organisers are getting ready to kick-off what promises to be a celebratory year to remember with a bonanza of free activities for the Reading Children's Festival.
The festival, which celebrates its 23rd year, will deliver a three-week programme full of exciting events, music, drama, sports and arts activities for children of all ages to enjoy at various venues across Reading from May 19th to June 10th.
To launch the festival, Meadow Madness returns bigger and better than ever on May 19th at Christchurch Meadows, George Street. This year, Meadow Madness features an Olympic theme and a host of attractions such as children's entertainment and workshops, charity and information stalls, tombolas, refreshments, face painting, arts and crafts and balloon modelling.
Animal lovers will have a chance to meet an army of adorable farm creatures as Miller's Ark Animal march into Meadow Madness. Children can meet Pygmy goats, miniature Shetland ponies and tiny Bantam hens.
Festival goers can also dance and get into the party spirit thanks Beatroots Bateria samba dancers, the longest established group of its kind. The group have performed at major WOMAD, The Thames Festival and Live Earth at Wembley.
Reading Borough Council's Lead Member for Culture and Sport, Cllr Marian Livingston, said: 'This will be the ninth time Meadows Madness will launch our iconic and much loved Children's Festival.
'The festival always proves to be a wonderful success, but this Olympic and Jubilee year I am convinced it will be a Children's Festival people will be talking about for years to come.'
Other highlights taking place during the festival include an array of special workshops and activities run by Reading Libraries and the Museum of Reading. There will also be a roller rink at the Hexagon theatre for the first time ever, as well as theatre master classes at the Hill School, Canoeing classes, the 35th Annual Reading Community Carnival, steel pan workshops and so much more.
For the full Children's Festival programme and for more information, log on to www.reading.gov.uk/