Brighton city centre will be filled with a sea of colour and creativity next May as thousands of children, parents and teachers celebrate the natural world at the annual Brighton Festival Children’s Parade.
Next year’s theme, Nature’s Marvels, will celebrate the wonders of flora and fauna from around the world, as well as reflecting on the urgent need to protect and conserve the planet’s natural environment. 2020 marks the end of the UN Decade on Biodiversity and the Nature2020 initiative will see organisations across the county actively engaging in events to celebrate Brighton and Lewes’ Downs biosphere and the living coast.
Jointly produced with award-winning community arts charity Same Sky, the Children’s Parade will take place on Sat 2 May 2020 to mark the start of Brighton Festival, three weeks of arts and culture across Brighton, Hove and Sussex.
The largest of its kind in Europe, the family-friendly, free event takes place in central Brighton and has delighted participants and spectators for 30 years. Around 10,000 people come along to see the parade and be part of a vibrant procession of dance, music and fun for the whole city. With a different imaginative theme each year, previous parades have seen children dress up as folk tales, paintings, letters of the alphabet and street names.
“Next year recognises the importance of biodiversity and will provide a rich topic for school pupils to learn about and to get creative,” said John Varah, Artistic Director, Same Sky. “Nearly 60 schools and groups from Brighton and Hove will work together with our artists to create a moving pageant that celebrates nature’s wonderful ecological diversity.”
The Children’s Parade is one of the most spectacular community events in the UK, with months of behind the scenes planning and preparations. Artists collaborate with teachers and volunteers to make magnificent effigies, choreograph dance routines and compose parade chants, with free masterclasses to develop design ideas and encourage imagination to flow. Brighton based disability charity, Carousel and learning-disabled artists will provide a live broadcast of the event, to allow people unable to attend in person to be part of the experience.
“We’ve seen how passionate children and young people are about protecting the planet,” said Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Festival. “It seemed such an obvious choice that the 2020 children’s parade should reflect what’s happening across the world but also to celebrate the biodiversity that’s right here on our doorstep. Each year we are amazed by the imagination and incredible hard work that goes into making the parade happen and the sheer joy it brings to everyone who takes part or who watch from the streets of Brighton.”
Established in 1967, Brighton Festival is the largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival in England. Brighton Festival’s 2020 Guest Director is poet, author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE and runs from Sat 2 – Sun 24 May 2020.
Brighton Festival 2020 programme launches on Tues 11 Feb 2020