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Celebration of Swale's culture

A festival to celebrate the borough’s eclectic cultural mix has been branded a success by the organisers.

The Swale Celebration of Cultures Festival saw The Wyvern Hall brought to life on Saturday by performers from all over the borough and Kent.

The New Covenant Gospel Choir from Kemsley started off proceedings and the streets glowed red and yellow as the Afro/Brazilian drumming group took a grand parade through Sittingbourne High Street along with Bloco Fogo.

The Jugnu Bhangra dancers from Gravesend got the crowds moving with their infectious music but for those wanting to chill out the Swale Holistic Practitioners were on hand to give free therapy tasters on relaxation techniques.

Pupils from Westlands, Minterne, Bapchild and Tonge schools also joined in with the celebrations by performing Indian dance routines while pupils from the new Sheppey Academy gave a speech and performed a dance routine with an anti-bullying message.

Artist Dean Tweedy led a mask masking workshops, Sheppey Matters supplied locally-made films and tales where spun in the story telling tent by storytellers from around the world.

Outside the hall the Acrojou Circus performers attracted peoples attention with their stilt walking antics and the children were entertained by Uncle Myles the magic wizard.

Event organiser Sioux Peto said: “I cannot thank the performers and people who helped organise the event enough they have been a pleasure to work with but most of all we would like to thank the people of Swale and Kent for attending and supporting this event.

“Without you it would not have been possible. We hope to build on this positive community spirt for the future and let the rest of Kent and England know that Swale is a friendly, sociable and harmonies place in which to live in.”

The festival is a working partnership between Diversity House and Kent County Council, Swale Borough Council, Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue Service, SoundArt, The Swale Arts Forum, GrassRoots, Vinvolved and Sheppey Matters.

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