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Pride of the Irish

PUBLISHED: 15:39 18 March 2009 | UPDATED: 10:33 23 August 2010

ST PAT’s DAY: Taking part in the celebrations were siblings Jordan and Taylor Juniper, aged five and 10.

ST PAT's DAY: Taking part in the celebrations were siblings Jordan and Taylor Juniper, aged five and 10.

IRISH flags were waving in the town centre as hundreds of shoppers enjoyed music and dance performances in celebration of St Patrick s Day. Children had the Irish flag painted on their faces, were handed balloons and shoppers enjoyed a selection of tradi

IRISH flags were waving in the town centre as hundreds of shoppers enjoyed music and dance performances in celebration of St Patrick's Day.

Children had the Irish flag painted on their faces, were handed balloons and shoppers enjoyed a selection of traditional Irish food in Gravesend town centre on Saturday.

St Patrick's Day is held on March 17 every year in many countries with parades and music performances to celebrate St Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland.

Teachers from St John's School in Rochester Road, Gravesend, and Wilmington Grammar School, Common Lane, Wilmington, opened the event with traditional Irish songs. Dancers from St Johns Dance School also performed.

Eamonn Devlin, from the Kent Youth Service, was one of the organisers of the event.

He said: "The day went brilliantly and there was a great turnout from the public. It was the public that made the event.

"On a day like St Patrick's Day you can be proud to be Irish, and the general feeling from the day was welcoming to all. From the singers to the music, the food and the girls dancing, the day couldn't have gone any better.

"We plan to do it next year providing we can secure more funding for the event - we feel we can only build on this."

The event, held in New Road, Gravesend, was organised by the North West Kent Racial Equality Council, Kent Youth Service, the Gr@nd and Gravesham Borough Council.

Gurvinder Sandher, the Assistant director of North West Kent Racial Equality Council, said: "We have worked in partnership with Gravesham Borough Council and Kent County Council in the past on events such as St George's Day and Vaisakhi, and I believe that this is another positive addition to the range of celebrations which take place here in Gravesham."

On April 23 more than 650 children from 14 schools in the borough will be taking part in a parade through Gravesend town centre to mark St Georges Day, celebrating the patron saint of England.

ed.riley@archant.co.uk

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