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Hundreds to parade on St George's Day

PUBLISHED: 16:39 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:39 23 August 2010

ALMOST 700 children are to parade through the town next week as the borough celebrates St. George s Day. The event aims to build on the traditional scouts parade which is held every year on the weekend after April 23. For six months the North West Kent

ALMOST 700 children are to parade through the town next week as the borough celebrates St. George's Day.

The event aims to build on the traditional scouts' parade which is held every year on the weekend after April 23.

For six months the North West Kent Racial Equality Council, the Cultural Beats Project, Gravesham Borough Council and schools have been arranging the procession.

Up to 14 schools are to present a performance programme with a parade followed by a theatre presentation at the Woodville Halls.

The procession will leave St. George's Church, travelling up High Street and Windmill Street to the Civic Centre on St. George's Day at 10am.

Gurvinder Sandher, the assistant director of North West Kent REC who has co-ordinated the event, said: "Much work has taken place over the past six months to pull this event together. I hope the local community will come and support the children in the parade on the day and that year upon year we can further develop the St. George's Day celebrations in our borough."

He added: "When this idea was first discussed I thought 'why do we not have a St. George's Day celebration on the actual day, why can't we?' It was only when I started speaking to people I realised many did not even know what month it was in.

"If we get the good weather we are confident it will be a great day. It is in the week and we encourage residents and workers to step outside, line the streets and support the children taking part."

Work has been taking place in schools over the last six months to prepare arts and craft displays which will be used during the parade, led by the Premier Brass Band and other music and dance projects.

The focal point of the parade will be a model of St. George which has been made by children, followed by a flag raising ceremony at the Civic Centre forecourt.

Events at Woodville Halls from 10.45 to 11.45am feature guest speakers, a drama about St. George, a talk on the religious aspect of the day delivered by Reverend Canon Chris Stone from St. George's Church and some music and dance displays prepared by the Cultural Beats Project.

The traditional Scouts St. George's Day parade the following Sunday is expected to be extended with those involved on the Wednesday given the chance to join in with other voluntary organisations.

A large parade will gather on the roof of the St. George's Centre and go through the town centre to the Fort Gardens for a drum head service at which the Scouts reaffirm their oath.

One event celebrating St. Georges' Day not to be missed is being held at the picturesque Groombridge Place and Enchanted Forest, Tonbridge Wells, on Sunday, April 20.

You can even help St. George fight the dragon at the show featuring a pageant of knights, damsels and sword fighting, with a professional theatre company performing the story of our famous crusader. To find out more visit www.groombridge.co.uk

TV Presenter and journalist Garry Bushell is also due to hold a charity night to raise money for a Benny Hill statue on St. George's Day night at the Circus Tavern in Purfleet, Essex.

He will be joined by a host of other stars including Bradley Walsh, Mickey Pugh, ska legends Nick Welsh and Rhoda Dakar and The Jam DRC widely regarded as the UK's best Jam tribute band.

n Tickets are £15 are available from the Circus Tavern on 01708 864001 or 01708 867271.

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