Gruffalo and other stories celebrated at parade

The Worthing Children's Parade returned on fine form for its tenth anniversary on Saturday, with 19 local schools taking part.

The parade returned for its tenth anniversary this year. Pictures: Stephen Goodger
The parade returned for its tenth anniversary this year. Pictures: Stephen Goodger

The parade and fair in Steyne Gardens featured special floats and performances following this year’s theme: ‘Anything Julia Donaldson’.

The celebrated MBE author of the Gruffalo and other children’s stories, who lives in Steyning, attended the event as guest of honour with her husband Malcolm and signed copies of her new book.

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Event organiser Caroline Woodward said: “What a fantastic day.

“Thank you to all who took part in the parade on Saturday and made it the best it’s ever been.

“I feel humbled by each school’s, student’s, staff and parent’s commitment, hard work and dedication to both the creating your ‘big makes’ and your unreserved participation.”

Each of the 19 schools decided upon characters from different stories written by Julia Donaldson for their’ big make’.

The parade was a vibrant and exciting tribute to Julia Donaldson’s work representing favourite stories that are loved by children and grown ups alike.

Based on the last year’s success, the parade joined forces again with Worthing Museum and Art Gallery and Worthing Library, who provided art workshops and book readings based upon Julia Donaldson’s books.

The children’s work inspired by these workshops and reading, along with a couple of the big makes from the parade, will be exhibited in the Garden room at Worthing Museum and Art Gallery in the summer.

Event organiser Caroline Woodward said: “I wanted this year’s parade to be a real celebration of children’s love of art and literature.

“Like many parents I have read practically all of Julia Donaldson’s work to my own children and looked forward to bedtimes where we can spend some cherished moments reading a great book that is appreciated by both children and parents alike.

“We are so lucky to have such a talented author coming to the parade .

“The culmination of these linked arts events and workshops, both in lead up to the parade and after with the artists’ open houses and the parade exhibition, help grow the dynamic arts scene Worthing.

“Developing opportunities for both children and adults to take part.”

Sara Bowers, owner of the Steyning Bookshop, whose staff were involved in the event with Julia, said: “It went really well.

“Julia and Malcolm were all thrilled by the floats which were all themed by Julia’s books.

“It was lovely that the children of Worthing were able to see them and meet them.”

Twice a term Julia goes into local schools and does workshops with the children, and will be doing so this week.