Despite the rain Friday April 21st saw Gravesend Town Centre brought to a standstill when the annual school and community parade to mark Saint George’s Day took place. A record number 14 Schools and 700 children took part in the parade alongside Civic and community guests including the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Peter Scollard and Deputy Lord Lieutenant Rosemary Dymond.

The ethos of the event was to celebrate diverse England in the context of 2023, bringing communities together as well as educating young people about Saint George the patron Saint of England.

The celebrations were produced by Cohesion Plus and were supported by Gravesham Borough Council and Arts Council England.

The festivities started in Gravesend Town Centre with performances by Brass Bands to warm up those attending, before the parade started from outside Saint George’s Church. The schools were joined in the parade by an array of performers including brass bands, dhol and djembe drummers, cheer leaders, stilt walkers, a giant dragon and Saint George. The parade went through the town centre before finishing in Community Square where the flag of Saint George was raised following a performance by the Grand Choir who had everyone up and dancing as they sang a melody of pop songs.

Gurvinder Sandher MBE DL the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus who produced the celebrations commented “We should all be proud of what was achieved. Despite the poor forecast the schools came out and participated in these community celebrations highlighting what can be achieved when we all work together. As ever I am grateful to our principal partners Gravesham Borough Council and Arts Council England whose long standing support for our work has allowed events like this to take place in the borough, connecting communities through the arts.”

Jamie Izzard, Director of Communities at Gravesham Borough Council, said: “Our diverse community has a long history of coming together to celebrate our country’s patron saint, whatever the weather.
“I would like to thank the team at Cohesion Plus for helping deliver another brilliant event, and of course all of the teachers and children who make this day so special every year.”