The arts brings communities together for Saint George’s Day

Some of the biggest celebrations in England to commemorate Saint George’s Day took place in Gravesham on Monday April 23rd. 600 Children from 14 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. The aim of the event was to celebrate the patron Saint of England and bring together the diverse communities in a large scale celebration.

The day kicked off with celebrations in Gravesend Town Centre with performances from Brass Volcanoes, Premier Brass Band and Saint George themed stilt walkers who entertained large crowds.

The highlight of the celebrations was the schools parade which was led by Saint George enacted by Gravesham resident Russel Palmer who was followed by a large scale dragon. They were followed by the Mayor of Gravesham Harold Craske and local dignitaries and partners including the Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott and Deputy Lord Lieutenants of Kent, Dr. Bhargwara Vasudaven and Rosemary Dymond.

The 14 school paraded behind accompanied by Premier Brass, Brass Volcanoes, Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective, Stilt Walkers and artistic partners LV21 and Same Sky.

The Parade went up the High Street into King Street, through Saint George’s Shopping Centre and then headed back through town before finishing 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 600 school children sang Happy Birthday to HM The Queen to celebrate her 92nd birthday. The festivities climaxed with a special rendition of Land of Hope and Glory performed by Premier Brass Band and the Folkin Fusion Drumming Collective before the flag of Saint George was raised high above the Community Square as the national anthem was played by the Borough Band.

Gurvinder Sandher Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented “I am humbled by the positive response we received today not only from the participants but also from our partners and members of the public. So many people came to congratulate me on the successful celebrations. I passionately believe that events like Saint George’s Day should be celebrated as a means of bringing communities together. If anyone wonders about the benefit of events like Saint George’s Day they only had to be in Gravesham this morning to see.”