Saint George’s Day Celebrations Some of the Biggest to Date
Some of the biggest celebrations in England for Saint George’s Day took place in Gravesham and Dartford on April 23rd. 30 local schools and some 1600 children took part in parades to mark the national day for England alongside a host of entertainers, community groups and members of the public.
Entertainment included the Premier Brass Band, Bollywood Brass Band, West Hill Morris Dance Troupe, Four by Four Dhol Drummers, a Town Crier, a Saint George in full armor, Stilt Walkers and Medieval Court Jesters.
The celebrations commenced in Gravesham in the morning where the streets were filled with members of the public waving the flags of Saint George, who with enthusiasm supported first the entertainment in the town centre and then the schools parade as it marched through. The celebrations climaxed on Community Square where further performances took place before the audience was addressed by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr John Caller before the flags of Saint George were raised.
The programme then moved onto Dartford where large crowds gathered at One Bell Corner to see performances by Premier Brass, Bollywood Brass and West Hill Morris. For the first time the parade started outside the Civic Centre in Dartford before heading into the Town Centre, stopping briefly at the War Memorial where flags of Saint George were raised by the Mayor of Dartford Cllr Avtar Sandhu MBE. The celebrations climaxed at the Bandstand in Central Park with a rousing rendition of “Land of Hope and Glory” by the Premier Brass Band.
Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented ““I would like to thank all the artists and schools who took part. This was an excellent example of how the arts can be used to bring communities together and celebrate our shared values which makes us the nation that we are. The numbers of people in attendance surprised me and underlined the importance of the arts as a tool to bring people together. My ambition is to organise similar events in other parts of Kent starting next year. Finally I am very grateful for the support provided by Gravesham and Dartford Borough Council’s and Arts Council England both in the planning and delivery of the celebrations.”