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Thousands start Royal Wedding celebrations

PUBLISHED: 16:04 28 April 2011 | UPDATED: 16:54 28 April 2011

Royal wedding parade

Royal wedding parade

Archant

Hundreds of school children took part in the county's biggest Royal Wedding celebration on Wednesday and set a standard for the country to follow.

Combined with the annual St George’s Day parade in Dartford, 450 children from seven schools, led a colourful procession through the town centre, finishing in a chorus of the National Anthem at One Bell Corner and party at the new bandstand in Central Park.

On the eve of Kate Middleton and Prince William’s wedding at Wesminster Abbey, a similar event is taking place in Gravesham - the climax of months of work.

Michael Folley, 11, from Dartford Bridge Community Primary School, said: “The whole school has been looking forward to the parade today.”

Amberley Alexander, 10, from West Hill Primary School, added: “We are really happy for Prince William and Kate.”

The outbreak of celebration started early as latest figures released by Kent County Council showed 182 street parties were planned in the county tomorrow.

Eleven official street parties with road closures are planned in Gravesham, 10 in Dartford and others in Swanley and the surrounding areas of Sevenoaks district.

The party started outside Dartford Central Library at 10am yesterday. Premier Brass Band, Big Fish, Cultural Beats and Bloco Fogo Samba finished with a short free community concert at the bandstand. Today a second almost identical parade, organised by the Kent Equality Cohesion Council, will wind through Gravesend stopping at Civic Square, which will be officially unveiled. Attending will be representatives from the Commonwealth.

Gurvinder Sandher, director of the group co-ordinating the events, said: “I am sure that the noise and colour will bring both town centres to a standstill.”

Joydens Wood Junior School, Maypole Primary School, Gateway Primary, Swan Valley Community Comprehensive School, West Hill Primary, Sedleys Church of England Primary and Dartford Bridge Community Primary School took part in the parade. St Anselms Primary pupils performed in the concert.

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