Tag Archives: Dartford Borough Council

Dartford celebrates Saint George’s Day with arts and colour!

Dartford played host to some of the largest Saint George’s Day celebrations on Tuesday 23rd April. Around 550 children from 9 local schools participated in the annual parade along with hundreds of spectators. The celebrations were organised in partnership by Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council supported by Dartford Borough Council in what were some of the biggest celebrations taking place in England.

Dartford High Street was abuzz with activity with a number of performances on One Bell Corner including West Hill Morris, Premier Brass Band, DDFK Brass Band, Big Fish and Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective as well as Saint George themed Stilt Walkers.

The Schools began the parade from the Civic Centre and were led by North Kent resident Russell Palmer as Saint George himself. Special guests included the Mayor of Dartford Cllr David Mote and Council Leader Cllr Jeremy Kite MBE. The parade went through the Orchard Shopping Centre and onto the High Street where they were joined by a large scale dragon and hundreds of local residents. The parade stopped briefly at Memorial Gardens where the flag of Saint George was raised before moving on to Central Park where there followed a programme of entertainment which climaxed with the National Anthem.

Gurvinder Sandher, the Artistic Director for Cohesion Plus commented “It was great to see so many people come out and support the Saint George’s Day celebrations. We have always felt that the arts can have a positive impact when it comes to community cohesion and to see so many people from different faiths and backgrounds come together to celebrate the patron saint of England makes us very proud as an organisation. We very much value the ongoing supported by our partners in Dartford and feel that other parts of the country can learn about what we doing when it comes to Saint George’s Day.”

St Georges Day 23rd April

Preparations are now at an advanced stage for some of the biggest Saint George’s celebrations in the South East taking place in Gravesham and Dartford on Saint George’s Day itself Tuesday April 23rd. This year 22 local schools across the 2 boroughs have been taking part in arts workshops run by arts organisation Same Sky in the lead up to the parade and will display what they have made during the parade itself. The ethos of the event is to celebrate diverse England in the context of 2019 and to educate young people about Saint George the patron Saint of England.

Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented “At a time of great division in our country I believe that it is important that we celebrate events like Saint George’s Day as there is more that bind us together as communities than divides us. I am very proud of what we have achieved over the last 10 years in Gravesham and Dartford with the celebrations and I hope like previous years that the local community will come out and wave the flag of Saint George with pride. The young people from Gravesham and Dartford who will participate in the parade have been working very hard over the past few months in preparation and this is a great example of how the arts can be used to bring people together.”

The celebrations in Gravesham will take place between 10am and 11.30am and in Dartford from 12.30pm to 2.30pm. Entertainment including Big Fish Brass Band, DDFK and Premier Brass Bands, West Hill Morris, Hartley Morris Men, Saint George’s themed Stilt Walkers, a Saint George in full armor and a large scale dragon will feature.

The annual celebrations are organised by Cohesion Plus in partnership Kent Equality Cohesion Council, supported by Gravesham Borough Council, Dartford Borough Council and Arts Council England.

Dartford Festival of Light 10 Year Celebrations go with a Bang!

A roaming dinosaur, drummers on stilts, and an array of colourful lanterns were the order of the day at the 10th Dartford Festival of Light took place on Friday October 19th. The aim of the festival was to showcase the excellent work being done by young people from across the Borough through the arts and promote the values of respect, excellence, friendship and equality.

Around 1500 enjoyed the festival which started at One Bell Corner with performances by the Folk in Fusion Drumming Collective, Bloco Fogo Samba and the Stilt Batteristas. They were joined by Hilary the Triceratops who roamed the High Street interacting with members of the public.

The lantern parade which was made up of 8 local schools, members of the community and musicians was led by the Mayor of Dartford Cllr David Mote, Leader of Dartford Borough Council Cllr Jeremy Kite MBE and Lak Heer from the Bostall Group who were one of the event sponsors. The parade went from the High Street via Suffolk Road into the Orchards Shopping Centre, left out towards Holy Trinity Church before climaxing in Central Park. The entrance in Central Park was especially lit up for the occasions with lanterns as was the area around the Band Stand.

The celebrations climaxed with a presentation to local schools to commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the Festival and a spectacular fireworks display.

The festival was organised by Cohesion Plus working in partnership with Dartford Borough Council and Kent Equality Cohesion Council. The principal artistic partners were Same Sky who worked in the local schools in the build-up and who created light installations which were put up in Central Park. The event was sponsored by local company the Bostall Group and was supported by funding from Arts Council England.

Gurvinder Sandher, the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus added, “The Dartford Festival of Light goes from strength to strength and it is fitting that this year with it being the 10th anniversary, was our most spectacular to date. There was a great atmosphere throughout the event and highlighted how the arts can have a positive impact and bring communities together. We are as ever very grateful to our partners who have shared and supported our vision which has allowed the Festival of Light to become one of the highlights of the Dartford events calendar.”

Dartford Festival of Light

The 10th Dartford Festival of Light will take place on Friday October 19th between 6pm and 7:30pm. The festival has been organised by Cohesion Plus working in partnership with Dartford Borough Council and Kent Equality Cohesion Council. The celebrations showcase the excellent work being done by young people from across the Borough through the arts and promote the values of respect, excellence, friendship and equality.

The Festival promises to be as inspiring as ever this year and is split into three distinct parts. The evening begins with the arrival of the children at One Bell Corner in the High Street at 6pm, where entertainment will be provided by the likes of the Folk in Fusion Drumming Collective, Bloco Fogo Samba and stilt walking musicians Stilt Batteristas. Also making a debut at the Festival of Light is Hilary the Triceratops who will be roaming the high street as the music plays!

At 6:30pm the colourful lantern parade will commence and will be led by the Mayor of Dartford Cllr David Mote, Leader for Dartford Borough Council Jeremy Kite MBE and the Chair of Cohesion Plus Dev Sharma MBE. The parade will head via Hythe Street and Suffolk Road into the Orchards Shopping Centre, left out on to the High Street and then turn right at the Holy Trinity Church heading back towards Central Park.

The festival will climax with a spectacular fireworks display finale at around 7:20pm.

A dozen local schools will be taking part in this free community event including Westgate Primary, Our Lady of Hartley, St. Anselm’s RC Primary, Joydens Wood Junior, Temple Hill Primary, Oakfield Primary Academy, West Hill Primary, The Brent and Dartford Bridge.

Gurvinder Sandher, the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus added, “I am so proud of the fact that the Festival has been taking place in Dartford for 10 years! It’s speaks volumes about the support our partners have provided over the years and continue to provide. I am also incredibly grateful to the schools in the borough who take part in the Festival of Light year after year and who are committed to our ethos of promoting community cohesion through the arts.”

Highlighting the success of previous year’s events, Jeremy Kite MBE, Leader of Dartford Borough Council said, “It’s wonderful that the Festival of Light is now celebrating its tenth year in Dartford. It’s a tremendous event bringing together schools from across the borough to create an amazing evening of colour, music and energy. It truly is a wonderful sight to see and if you haven’t been before make this year the year you join us for the Dartford Festival of Light.”

Dartford comes together for Saint George’s Day

Dartford comes together for Saint George’s Day

Dartford played host to one of its largest Saint George’s Day celebrations to date on Monday April 23 where 500 children from 8 local schools took part along with hundreds of local residents.

The High Street was abuzz with activity with a number of performances on One Bell Corner including West Hill Morris, Premier Brass Band, Brass Volcanoes and Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective.

The Schools began the parade from the Civic Centre and were led by North Kent resident Russell Palmer as Saint George himself. Special guests included the Mayor of Dartford Cllr Rosanna Currans and Council Leader Cllr Jeremy Kite MBE. The parade went through the Orchard Shopping Centre and onto the High Street where they were joined by a large scale dragon and hundreds of local residents who then followed the parade to its climax in Central Park.

There, some 500 school children sang Happy 92nd Birthday to HM The Queen before watching a short programme of entertainment which climaxed with the Premier Brass Band and the Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective playing Land of Hope of Glory and the National Anthem.

Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented “I am very lucky to be in the position to work with organisations like Dartford Borough Council who share my vision of using events like Saint George’s Day as means of bringing communities together to celebrate shared values and what it means to be a citizen in Dartford in 2018. I strongly believe that the arts are an excellent way of breaking down barriers and bringing communities together and the Dartford Saint George’s Day celebrations are testament to that.”

The celebrations were organised in partnership by Cohesion Plus and Kent Equality Cohesion Council supported by Dartford Borough Council and Arts Council England in what were some of the biggest celebrations taking place in England. The aim of the event was to celebrate the patron Saint of England and bring together the diverse communities of the borough to celebrate this national day.