Over 1000 people attended the celebrations on Friday September 7 at the Riverside Leisure Area to mark the climax of the Paralympic Games and the Great British Summer which included the Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games including over 350 local school children who took part in a lantern parade. The community celebration was organised by Kent Equality Cohesion Council in partnership with Cohesion Plus with the support of Gravesham Borough Council.

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Following performances by Pan Steel Group Steel Ambition and Samba Group Bloco Fogo there were presentations made to all the children who took part in the event by making lanterns for the parade which promoted the Paralympic Values of Courage, Determination, Inspiration and Equality. They were each presented with medals by the Mayor of Gravesham Cllr. Lyn Milner and the Chairman of KECC Dev Sharma MBE along with representatives from local partners including Kent Police, Dartford and Gravesend Muslim Association, Afro-Caribbean Business Forum and Kent Fire and Rescue Service.

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Following the National Anthem where many present waved their Union Flags the parade led by the Four by Four Bhangra Youth Club and Bloco Fogo departed from the Bandstand to the Riverfront where the evening climaxed with a spectacular light show on the Sky Dome which was been created by arts Company Samesky.

Gurvinder Sandher the Director of Kent Equality Cohesion Council commented “We hope that the celebrations today helped to inspire all the young people who took part. I was overwhelmed with the level of support that we received on the night and this was a real cross community and cross generational event with everyone coming together to celebrate this historic British Summer. We should be really proud in Gravesham of how our communities come together and celebrate as one from Vaisakhi to Saint George’s Day to the Diamond Jubilee to Eid and now this event.”

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