Gravesham once again played host to its annual Saint George’s celebrations which took place on Tuesday 23rd April. 12 local schools and some 700 young people took part in the festivities alongside Mayor of Gravesham Cllr Gurdip Bungar, Deputy Lieutenant Dr. Vasudaven and Rev Jim Fletcher. The celebrations were produced and delivered by local arts organisation Cohesion Plus and supported by Same Sky and Arts Council England.

The aim of the festivities are to celebrate England in its modern day context, showcasing and championing differences as well as celebrating what binds us together. The day also serves as an opportunity to educating young people about Saint George the patron Saint of England.

The celebrations had a new parade route which started at Saint George’s Church before making its way up the High Street and processing through Saint George’s Shopping Centre and out onto New Road before returning to the Church’s grounds. The parade featured an array of performers including brass bands, dhol and djembe drummers, themed stilt walkers, and a large scale fire breathing dragon as well as Saint George himself in full costume.

The parade climaxed with musical performances and short speeches before the national anthem was played by Premier Brass Band while the flag of Saint George was raised.

Gurvinder Sandher MBE DL the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus who organised the celebrations commented “Despite financial challenges with no funding being provided by local authority partners, we are still incredibly proud of what we were able to achieve. This event has taken place since 2008 in the borough and we are determined not to lose it. I am very grateful to the ongoing support of local schools and community partners who worked so hard in the build-up and Arts Council England for seeing the value of events like this which use arts and culture to bring the diverse communities of Gravesham together.”