There were big smiles and lots of sun at the first ever Dartford High Street Carnival of Summer which took place on July on Friday July 10. The Carnival organised by Cohesion Plus in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Dartford Borough Council with the support of Arts Council England commenced in Central Park by the Bandstand between noon where the children gathered to have pack lunches and enjoy entertainment by the Steel Ambition Calypso Band, Four by Four Bhangra Group, Rhythm of the City Samba and children’s entertainer Ant Payne.

At the same time there was a programme of entertainment around the High Street where the same performers also brought the High Street to a standstill with their colourful performances.

The Carnival parade set off from Central Park just after 1.30pm led by the Mayor of Dartford Cllr Ian Armitt, Leader of Dartford Borough Council Cllr Jeremy Kite MBE, Gareth Johnson MP and Chairman of Kent Equality Cohesion Council Dev Sharma MBE.

The children from Our Lady’s Catholic Primary, Fleetdown Primary, Westgate Primary and Temple Hill Primary who had been working with the Great British Carnival Company in the build up to the event showcased some colourful creative art which focused on the history of Dartford and in taking pride in the Borough. The Carnival got bigger as it collected people along the way as it went from Central Park, via the High Street before returning to back to Central Park.

Once the carnival arrived back each child was presented with a special medal to thank them for their participation.

Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of KECC commented “This was the first year that the High Street Carnival of Summer took place and I was really pleased with the positive impact it had. It was a great pleasure to see all the smiling faces not just of the young people taking part but parents and onlookers as the carnival parade went by. I very much appreciate our longstanding partnership with Dartford Borough Council and would like to thank them for all their help and support both in the build-up and on the day itself. I believe the Carnival showcased the positive community relations in the borough and showed how arts can be used to bring people together and celebrate the rich heritage of Dartford.”