Some of the biggest celebrations in England to commemorate Saint George’s Day took place in Gravesham on Tuesday April 23rd. 500 Children from 13 local schools took part in the event which was organised by Cohesion Plus in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council supported by Gravesham Borough Council and Arts Council England. The celebrations aim to celebrate the patron Saint of England and bring together the diverse communities of the borough.
Celebrations began in Gravesend Town Centre with performances from Hartley Morris Men, Premier Brass Band, DDFK Brass Band, Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective, Saint George themed stilt walkers who entertained large crowds and a large scale mobile Dragon.
The highlight of the celebrations was the schools parade which was led by Saint George enacted by Gravesham resident Russel Palmer. They were followed by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr David Hurley and local dignitaries and Deputy Lord Lieutenants of Kent, Dr. Bhargwara Vasudaven.
The parade made its way from Community Square and continued up Windmill Street eventually making its way through the Thamesgate Shopping Centre arriving back on Community Square. Throughout the parade members of the public waved their flags of Saint George and encouraged the children as the parade went by. Once the parade climaxed on Community Square the 500 school children sang Happy Birthday to HM The Queen to celebrate her 93rd birthday before the flags of Saint George were raised on Community Square.
Gurvinder Sandher, Artistic Director for Cohesion Plus commented “The arts are a great way of bringing communities together and celebrating our shared values. The Saint George’s Day celebrations in Gravesham are a great testament to this. I was especially pleased with the diverse range of artists and communities that took part further underlining the ethos and mission of our organisation. We strive to promote a cohesive and integrated society in Kent and anyone who attended the celebrations would have seen this in action.”