THOUSANDS of children have been showing off their creativity at the annual children’s parade.

Pupils from schools across Brighton and Hove brought plenty of colour for the parade, which kicks off the Brighton Festival.

Brighton Festival is now in its 52nd year, and the parade has been the curtain raiser for more than 25 years. There were some 5,000 children taking part, making it the largest parade of its kind in Europe.

They were greeted by thousands of parents, residents, visitors and glorious sunshine along their route from Robert Street to the seafront in Brighton.

The Argus:

The Argus:

In previous years, children have dressed up as letters of the alphabet, Brighton street names, mermaids, and even their favourite types of cake.

But today the theme was paintings, giving the kids the perfect chance to show off their artwork and inspiration from artists such as Picasso and Salvador Dali.

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Coombe Road Primary School art coordinator Kate Folley said pupils have been working on a painting of Dora Maar by Pablo Picasso, with children recreating giant lips, eyes, and mouth’s in the artist’s style, and the school staff also created a giant head for the parade.

She said: “The children have been making cubist style eyes, and learning about Pablo Picasso in lessons at school. They have learned about the artist and cubism.

“They really love it and so do the parents. We are quite a small school in East Brighton, but we have great community spirit and it has been really exciting for us.

“We have done the parade for 17 years, the sun always shines and it celebrates Brighton for what it is, its uniqueness and the eclectic side of Brighton, which makes it a great place to live.”

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Meanwhile parent Elaine Charles was on parade for the first time with her six-year-old daughter Scarlet from St Mark’s Church of England School in Manor Road in Brighton.

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She said: “Our school has been visited by an Inuit artist and the children have dressed up as birds such as ravens and owls.

“I think it’s great that the children can participate in something like this, there is a real sense of camaraderie.”

Children at Queen’s Park Primary School were also inspired by birds, and created a giant cockatiel with the help of arts coordinator Mhari Smith.

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The pupils have learned about Victorian artist Edward Lear, who drew exotic and tropical birds including parrots and cockatiels. They dressed up as the exotic birds, while the teachers dressed up as the jungle habitats.

She said: “The children love it, it’s a special day and unique for Brighton, it’s a lovely community event.”

The theme was inspired by the festival’s guest director David Shrigley, who led the parade. He is known for his own distinctive style of drawing where he often takes a satirical swipe at society.

It was organised by Same Sky and supported by Yeoman’s Toyota and the University of Brighton.