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Getting Inspired: Brighton Festivals’ “Dream Again” Parade

kids marching in bright festival parade with white clothes and white lantern like structures, everything white is covered in graffiti and scribbles of black

On Saturday, May 4th, our Community Producers, who co-design all of our programs to ensure a strong community voice, embarked on a special trip to Brighton to experience the city’s renowned Children’s Parade. It’s the opening event for the annual Brighton Festival of Culture and Arts. The parade is produced in partnership with Same Sky – a community arts charity who work with parents, teachers, and young people from 60 schools across Brighton and Hove to create the parade. Schools work collaboratively with artists, musicians, and choreographers to create the event.

This year’s parade theme was “Dream Again”. We found a great spot to watch it from and settled in to enjoy the show!

Here are some of the Community Producers thoughts on the event.

The Brighton parade was amazing! What really stood out was all the local community involvement. The floats and performances were clearly made by Brighton residents coming together to represent their cultures and talents. It felt like a true celebration of the whole community. One idea we could bring back to Redbridge is finding more ways to get local groups involved in our events. Having community exhibits, dances, music and more would make our festivals feel more connected to the different cultures in our borough. The parade showed how impactful and special it can be when an event really engages the local community at a grassroots level. Let’s explore doing more of that for our summer festivals! – Miraj Ali, Community Producer


I love their theme ‘Dream again’, which gives a positive message to the community to follow their dreams, whether it’s for a better place or a personal desire. The way they designed their costume, sculptures/ artwork nicely reflecting the theme. Few of their ideas I really like from this event are Girls can play too, What keeps you awake at night, Go to bed, Dream catcher. I would suggest we should do something similar that gives a positive message to Redbridge 🙂 – Shilpi Deb, Community Producer

parade with massive dreamcatcher

I saw children with sensory needs wearing coloured ear defenders and adults with disabilities marching with their groups and joining in with their group’s theme. The parade was all-inclusive. I enjoyed listening to the marching bands and seeing all the impressive creations displayed on their floats showing off their imaginations and creativity. We saw all types of animals and objects made from paper mâché including a few giant beds to go along with the dreaming theme, a giant pig with wings, a giant rainbow with a pot of gold at the end.

I was also impressed by the simplicity of some of the costumes, yet they were so effective. Two that particularly stood out for me were the group dressed as bumble bees and a group parading an “under the sea theme”. The “bees” were wearing plain yellow T-shirts that they had decorated with thick black tape to make stripes or strips of black fur and wore pipe cleaners on their heads as antennae.  The other group wore basic shower caps on their heads decorated with coloured paper streamers in pale colours to look like jellyfish, and some carried plastic pint cups again decorated with coloured paper streamers.  The results were stunning, but the outfits were very cost-effective. Elena Levene, Community Producer


I enjoyed how the whole of Brighton community got together with lots of schools showcasing their artistic work. I liked the way they colour co-ordinated; they got their friends and family involved and how we were given an itinerary with numbers, so we knew from the leaflet which school it was as the numbers represented the schools. I liked the music and there was a lot of security to keep us safe. – Roopal Mehta, Community Producer

group photo at brighton festival

We all felt inspired by what we saw, it showed us how a community can come together to create a joyful parade, with imagination, energy and so much creativity.

Following our visit to the Brighton Children’s Parade, we’re excited to announce a new event co designed by the Redbridge community: a celebratory parade in Valentines Park this summer! Your feedback on the importance of accessible celebrations for all has been instrumental in shaping this event.

The parade will be an opportunity to showcase the rich tapestry of cultures and talents within Redbridge. We’ll be working hard to create an inclusive and creative atmosphere, mirroring the spirit we witnessed in Brighton. Local groups and residents – this is your chance to participate! We’ll share more details soon on how you can get involved, whether it’s by marching in the parade, volunteering your time, or simply coming out to support the amazing creativity of our borough. Together, we’ll turn Valentines Park into a vibrant space for dreams and imagination, a true reflection of the Redbridge community.


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