Despite the wet weather Sittingbourne Town Centre was awash with colour and lights with over 2,500 participating in the 3rd Swale Fusion Festival of Light. The aim of the festival was to use the arts to bring communities together and celebrate the values of respect, excellence, friendship and equality.
The celebrations were organised by Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Cohesion Plus working in partnership with Swale Borough Council.
The Festival kicked off on Sittingbourne High Street with spectacular performances from a host of culturally diverse acts as well a large scale mobile art installation that wowed and interacted with the crowds. Then the parade, featuring 13 local schools made its way along the High Street, through Roman Square and climaxed at Albany Park. Along the way the parade collected hundreds of new people who joined in to create a powerful mass of colour, noise and light. Albany Park was specially decorated for the evening with winter themed lights and installation. The festival climaxed with a spectacular firework finale.
In the build-up KECC worked in partnership with Cohesion Plus, Same Sky, Ideas Test, Big Fish Arts and Platforma Festival around community engagement, providing opportunities for free arts activities across the borough.
Gurvinder Sandher the CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council commented “The weather may have let us down but the communities of Swale certainly did not! I’m so grateful to everyone who attended and not only celebrated the Festival but also our shared values that bind us together as a community. The Swale Fusion Festival of Light continues to grow year upon year and we are already looking at more ambitious plans for next year funding permitting. Events like these are so important as they celebrate what unites us rather than what divides us.”