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Maidstone Arts Parade brings 22 music and art groups out onto the town's streets for a showcase of talent

By Angela Cole

A whirl of colour, music and merriment swept through Maidstone in a showcase of the County Town’s artistic talent.

The Maidstone Arts Parade, organised by the Maidstone Town Team, brought hundreds of performers of all ages onto the streets in colourful and imaginative costumes on Saturday.

Colleen, 14, with eight-year-old Owen from St Simon Stock School

Samba band Blocco Foggo, dancers from the Mandy Ellen Dance Troupe and Margaret Preedy Dance School paraded along with Maidstone Baton Twirlers and Maidstone United.

Members of the Maidstone Singers dressed in 1950s costume and as midwives - complete with a baby wrapped in a blanket - to celebrate their recent appearance on the BBC’s Call the Midwife.

Mihai Mitroia, 17, from Maidstone Academy. Picture: John Westhrop

The parade snaked through the streets from County Hall to Jubilee Square, where there were performances from several groups, and the Mayor of Maidstone, Cllr Richard Thick, officially opened proceedings.

It was the first time the event had been staged but organisers were overwhelmed with the turnout and are already turning their minds to a second outing next year.

Harmony Variety Group in last year's parade

It was put on thanks to funding from Maidstone council’s Make Maidstone Smile fund, and in conjunction with Maidstone Area Arts Partnership.

Town team chairman Ken Scott said: “When you saw the trouble people had taken it was really good to be associated with it. You could see the reaction from people."

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