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Festival lights up the night

PUBLISHED: 15:01 28 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:10 23 August 2010

ORGANISERS of a festival of light that saw 450 school children parade through the town centre hope to repeat the success in the future at venues across the county. The second annual Gravesham Festival of Light, featuring pupils from 13 schools in the bor

ORGANISERS of a festival of light that saw 450 school children parade through the town centre hope to repeat the success in the future at venues across the county.

The second annual Gravesham Festival of Light, featuring pupils from 13 schools in the borough, brought Gravesend town centre to a standstill on Friday night.

Accompanied by music from Gravesend bands, two colourful parades of pupils carried torches and lanterns from the town centre to the Woodville Halls theatre.

The event was organised by north Kent based arts group Cohesion Plus, in partnership with the North West Kent Racial Equality Council and was inspired by the Cultural Olympiad, which aims to promote the Olympic values of respect and friendship in the run up to the London Games in 2012.

Gurvinder Sandher, the main co-ordinator of the festival said: "This is all about bringing communities together, and to show what great community relations we have in the borough.

"The whole event was fantastically supported by everyone, shoppers and people in the town centre came out to watch who were very impressed by what they saw, and the parents and school staff helped out a lot.

"Following on from the success of this event last year, this year was better than expected, and was bigger than ever.

"We have a great model here in Gravesend, and our main aim is to repeat this festival at other towns and cities across Kent."

Workshops were held at schools with arts company Samesky who helped pupils design the displays and torches for the parades. Music came from Bloco Fogo Samba Group, Blazing Brass, Four by Four Bhangra Group and Lucky Moyo African Drummers.

A week earlier, a Festival of Light was also held in Dartford, which also featured pupils from schools across the borough.

The schools that took part in the Gravesham Parade include Chantry Primary, Dover Road Primary, Meopham Primary, Northfleet School for Girls, Rosherville Primary, St Botolph's, Saint Georges, Riverview Junior, Wrotham Road Primary, Holy Trinity Primary, Cecil Road Primary, St John's Comprehensive and St John's Primary School.

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