FIVE thousand schoolchildren are preparing to kick off Brighton Festival with a fun-filled parade through the city’s streets.

More than 80 primary and secondary schools will take part in the annual Children’s Parade, said to be the biggest of its kind in Europe.

A colourful procession filled with joyful music, colourful costumes and jubilant youngsters will move through the streets of Brighton this morning.

In preparation for the event, schools around the city have been making costumes and floats interpreting this year’s theme of poetry in motion.

Brighton and Hove Prep School pupils have been busy preparing for their performance inspired by Eleanor Farjeon’s poem Cats and are hoping for a purr-fect performance.

The Year 6 girls will form a samba band playing drums, while Year 5 children will follow behind with feline- inspired choreography.

It will be prove quite a spectacle with 70 pupils from the school in Radinden Manor Road, Hove, in cat T-shirts and cat eyes.

Meanwhile children at West Blatchington Primary School are getting ready for their performance after weeks of preparation by staff, parents and pupils designing and painting their float and making outfits. Spectators can expect lots of colourful clowns and bright balloons from the school which has selected the poem Clowns by Margaret Mahy.

The event has been produced by community arts charity Same Sky for 25 years and attracts some 10,000 spectators every year.

John Varah, artistic director of Same Sky, said: “We are delighted to be once again opening Brighton Festival with the Children’s Parade, and a particularly great theme, poetry in motion.

“There has been a really enthusiastic response from schools this year and poems have been chosen ranging from Shakespeare to Tolkien. But it is how the schools have interpreted the poems that is really exciting.”

The parade will be led by the Hot 8 Brass Band who will bring New Orleans style to the city as it leads the procession, which starts at 10.30am from Kensington Street and heads for Madeira Drive.

ROAD CLOSURES

During the Children’s Parade there will be the following road closures:

6am-3pm – Madeira Drive and Dukes Mound

8.30am-12pm – Pelham Street, Trafalgar Street, Pelham Square

8.40am-12pm – Sydney Street, Gloucester Street, Gloucester Road and Kensington Street

10.20am-12.45pm – North Road, Jubilee Street and Church Street

10.30am-12.45pm – New Road, North Street, Castle Square and East Street

10.30am-1pm – A259 Grand Junction (rolling road closure)

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Brighton Festival Children's Parade 2017

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