Creative flights of fancy at 2015 Children’s Parade

Acclaimed poet Michael Rosen at the Children's Parade in 2013
Acclaimed poet Michael Rosen at the Children's Parade in 2013

Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival and Same Sky have announced the theme for the 2015 Children’s Parade will be ‘taking flight’.

The annual parade marks the start of Brighton Festival, three weeks of live performance and art installations across the city and beyond.

The parade is attended by almost 5,000 children from 83 schools and community groups from across the region, each dressed in costumes they have specifically designed and made for the event.

The parade – which takes place on Saturday, May 2 – also sees thousands of spectators take to Brighton’s streets to cheer on those taking part.

Each year the parade celebrates a different theme. Previous years have seen participants dress up as everything from letters of the alphabet and Brighton street names to books, mermaids and even slices of cake. This year’s event will ask those involved to explore the idea of taking flight – be that flights of fancy, the flight of birds, the process of flying or the act of leaping into the unknown.

Pippa Smith, head of creative learning, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival, said: “Taking flight symbolises the many imaginative leaps and creative flights of fancy that teachers, parents and children invest in the Children’s Parade each year. This year we will be exploring everything from Pegasus to phantom jets and sparrows to spaceships.

“Taking inspiration from Brighton Festival 2015 Guest Director Ali Smith’s deep fascination with birds and other migratory patterns, the leading section will represent the huge variety of bird life that exist on our planet, while subsequent sections will represent flying machines, flight, fantasy and fable and bugs, bees and butterflies.

“Jointly produced with award-winning community arts organisation Same Sky, the Children’s Parade has delighted participants and spectators for over 25 years and officially launches Brighton Festival – England’s largest multi-arts festival – on the first Saturday in May.

“Following last year’s inaugural partnership, the organisers will once again join forces with Brighton & Hove Music & Arts – the music education hub whose key mission is to enhance and further develop music education across the city. This year they will be working with young people to create Brighton’s first Balkan Brass Band, which will feature in the parade.”

John Varah, artistic director, Same Sky, said: “Same Sky is delighted to continue its long partnership with Brighton Festival and with all the schools who have come to trust our artistic and management skills as we work together to deliver an annual celebration, which announces the beginning of the Festival.’