Fifteen primary schools from across Lewes joined in this year’s Moving On Parade.
The Patina (parents and teachers in the arts) event, now in its 15th year, marks outgoing year 6 students’ transition to secondary school and into adolescence.
Crowds of onlookers watched the celebration, which started from the Paddock at 12.30pm on Friday, July 8.
This year’s theme was ‘We Are Walking Works of Art’ and saw 372 outgoing pupils take part wearing costumes and carrying artwork inspired by artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Henri Matisse, Andy Warhol and Frida Kahlo.
In fact, it was the first year that the community arts charity had chosen art as the theme.
Caroline Croft, Patina Development Co-ordinator, said: “It was an absolutely phenomenal day, an explosion of joy.”
She added that it was exactly what they were hoping for and that there was such humour and colour in the children’s costumes.
“It was really joyous, a really joyful day. A huge sense of community and so lovely to see all the kids so happy,” she said.
From the Paddock, the schoolchildren, along with parents and teachers, paraded into New Road, Westgate Street and on to the town centre. New for 2016, the route was extended down School Hill and round Court Road and on to Cliffe Precinct before returning via School Hill, Market Street, Market Lane and Mount Pleasant for a party in the Paddock.
The event was the culmination of months of work and fundraising. The list of artists for the parade was drawn up based on suggestions from the community and each school was given an artist selected at random. The schoolchildren, parents and teachers then worked with Patina artists to create their ideas.
Ms Croft said: “We’re enormously grateful to everyone who volunteered their time or services or support to make it possible for the kids.
“It’s a huge collective effort.”
Patina is a network of parents, teachers, artists and volunteers. It was formed due to the concern that art was being given less focus in the primary curriculum.