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Countdown to town's big day

PUBLISHED: 17:39 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 10:48 23 August 2010

WALKING TALL: Elvis Patelvis and Vegas Girl with the golden statue’.

WALKING TALL: Elvis Patelvis and Vegas Girl with the golden statue'.

A CARNIVAL procession through the town centre is set to launch a weekend of top music and entertainment, bringing to an end a week long festival of events. Gravesend s Big 7 Festival, the borough s biggest ever, will finish this Saturday with the annual

A CARNIVAL procession through the town centre is set to launch a weekend of top music and entertainment, bringing to an end a week long festival of events.

Gravesend's Big 7 Festival, the borough's biggest ever, will finish this Saturday with the annual Big Day Out, featuring the Regatta and big name music acts.

Tomorrow, the Big Carnival will see children from six schools across Gravesham take part in a colourful procession from the Civic Centre to the Gravesend Promenade, marking the start of the festival weekend.

The carnival, which will begin at 6.15pm, will also feature outdoor performance and carnival arts specialists Kinetika, who have performed at the Atlanta Olympics, the Notting Hill Carnival and the Thames Festival.

The event, funded by Arts Council England, is being organised by Cohesion Plus, which promotes community relations across Kent working with the North West Kent Racial Equality Council and Gravesham Borough Council.

Gurvinder Sandher, the artistic director of Cohesion Plus, said: "This is different to the other events which have been organised by Cohesion Plus because we have never done carnival before.

"I believe this to be our most ambitious to date. We are very lucky to have secured the services of Kinetika and are very grateful to Arts Council England for all their help and support.

"The challenge for us is to get the communities of Gravesham especially young people engaged in the arts and this is a good way of doing this."

The schools taking part are Chantry Primary School, Wrotham Road, Primary School, Cecil Road Primary School, Rosherville Primary School, Northfleet School for Girls and St Georges School.

The carnival will also feature the Four by Four Bhangra group and Mahua Arts. It is expected to start at the Civic Centre, along Windmill Street and the High Street, before reaching the Promenade at 7.15pm.

This week has already seen a family fun run at Gravesend Promenade, colourful street performances through the town centre by stilt walkers Elvis Patelvis and Vegas girl, an evening of free jazz at the Woodville Halls and a story time and book sale event at Gravesend Library.

After the Carnival tomorrow, The Big Gig at the Promenade will see performances from the borough's best musicians.

This Saturday will see the annual Northfleet Carnival wind its way through the town centre, finishing with the Big Day Out.

This will see the Regatta, charity stalls and will end with a performance from Take That tribute band Fake That.

n To find out more about the events this weekend visit www.gravesham.gov.uk/big7

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