Dartford Community Lights Spectacle
Dartford Town Centre was spectacle of noise and colour as over 700 people took part in the Dartford Festival of Light on Friday October 24. The Festival was organised by local arts group Cohesion Plus in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council with the support of Dartford Borough Council and Arts Council England.
The first part of the evening was the lantern parade which featured 10 local schools as well as a number of culturally diverse artists including Four by Four Dhol Drummers and Crocodile Style Brass which started at One Bell Corner before heading towards the Orchard Theatre where the parade was joined by Bloco Fogo Samba Group who had been entertaining commuters outside Dartford Train Station. The parade then went through the Orchard Shopping Centre and Market Street to Central Park which was specially lit up by lanterns by leading creative arts organisation Same Sky where it climaxed by the Band Stand.
Once the parade got to the Band Stand there was a programme of entertainment which included Steel Ambition and vocalist Ryan Bennett. All the schools that took part were also presented with a special award for their participation by the Deputy Mayor of Dartford Cllr Ian Armitt and the Leader of Dartford Borough Council Cllr Jeremy Kite.
According to Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of the Kent Equality Cohesion Council who organised the event “I would like to thank everyone who came along and supported our Festival. This was such a wonderful showcase for Dartford and highlighted not only the positive community relations enjoyed in the borough but also some of the fantastic talent and hard work of the young people who were involved in the parade. This was our most ambitious festival to date in terms of lighting and the route and I look forward to working with our partners Dartford Borough Council on making next year’s one even bigger and better.”