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Patriots gather in Gravesend for St George's Day 2019

Hundreds gathered to mark the feast day of England's patron saint, as St George's flags flew high across the country.

Musicians, dancers and schoolchildren joined the celebrations in Gravesend town centre, accompanied by a magnificent red dragon.

The event involved 22 schools across Gravesham and Dartford, and was one of the biggest parades in the south east.

Pupils were dressed up in cardboard armour as part of the celebrations
Pupils were dressed up in cardboard armour as part of the celebrations

It was organised by Cohesion Plus, which delivers cultural festivals across Kent, in partnership with Kent Equality Cohesion Council.

Primary school pupils looked on in delight as the Hartley Morris Men danced through the streets, the bells on their red and white outfits jingling.

Children armed with miniature shields and cardboard armour got the chance to meet Gravesend's Saint George in full medieval attire, as themed stilt walkers towered metres above them.

The celebrations, which kicked off at 10am this morning, also featured performances from Big Fish Brass Band, DDFK and Premier Brass.

The event was also supported by Gravesham and Dartford council, alongside Arts Council England.

Gurvinder Sandher, artistic director at Cohesion Plus, said: "At a time of great division in our country I believe it is important that we celebrate events like Saint George’s Day, as there is more that bind us together as communities than divides us.

Gurvinder Sandher, artistic director at Cohesion Plus, speaks at the St George's Day parade in Gravesend
Gurvinder Sandher, artistic director at Cohesion Plus, speaks at the St George's Day parade in Gravesend

"This is a great example of how the arts can be used to bring people together."

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