Brighton Festival 2023 reveals theme for flagship Children’s Parade

Brighton Festival 2023 reveals theme for flagship Children’s Parade

Festival stages the largest parade of its kind in Europe
One World theme for 2023 reflects benefit of learning from and growing with each other
Parade moves to Sunday 7 May to mark coronation of King Charles III
Brighton Festival has confirmed this year’s theme for its iconic opening event, The Children’s Parade, will be One World, learning and growing from each other. Additional focus areas will explore how international collaboration influences areas as diverse as Inventions; Culture, Cooking & Fashion; and Our Environment.

Jointly produced with award-winning community arts charity Same Sky, the Children’s Parade officially marks the opening of the Festival, a three-week celebration of arts and culture across Brighton, Hove and East Sussex taking place 6-28 May 2023.

The largest parade of its kind in Europe, the family-friendly, free event takes place in central Brighton and has delighted participants and spectators for over 30 years. Hundreds of teachers from participating schools across Brighton & Hove will work with their pupils to create large-scale artworks and costumes to display throughout the Parade’s route and support children to learn through making.

For the first time the Parade will also move from its regular Saturday slot to Sunday 7 May, to mark the coronation of King Charles III in London.

Each focus area will be led at the front of the parade section by a ‘Herald School’, which represents a different area of the city. In 2023 these will be Patcham Infant School, Mile Oak Primary and Saltdean Primary School.

In 2023, the Children’s Parade will be supported by independent school Brighton Girls, noted for its innovative teaching, reimagined classroom spaces and keen sense of social responsibility.

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive, Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival says:

“The Children’s Parade is the moment we all look forward to most, bringing the city to life and heralding the start of Brighton Festival. We can’t wait to see how the Parade gathers round the celebratory and inspiring theme of ‘One World’ and are so grateful for the months of patient work ahead by children, parents and carers, teachers and artists to make it happen.”

Throughout the school year Same Sky work with teachers and group leaders to develop their displays alongside a team of dedicated artists. The procession involves co-ordinating up to 5,000 children, with an additional 20,000 parents, friends and other audiences taking over the city centre to witness the show-stopping designs and self-made costumes and sculptures.

Brighton Festival was established in 1967 and is the largest annual curated multi-arts festival in England and is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and community events.

The Festival recently announced its Guest Director for the 2023 edition would be the critically acclaimed musician, producer, DJ and broadcaster Nabihah Iqbal.

John Varah, Artistic Director, Same Sky says:

“The Children’s Parade is a highlight of our year and we’re always excited to collaborate with the Festival’s guest director. Nabihah Iqbal’s work is prolific and her guidance on the Parade’s theme has been greatly appreciated. The ties of Brighton’s global community will be on full display for this year’s Parade and we can’t wait to launch it.”

Following a successful return last year, after the impact of the pandemic forced the Parade’s postponement in 2020 and 2021, Sunday 7 May will once again see the streets of the city transformed in a riot of colour and creativity heralding the start of Brighton Festival.

The Children’s Parade is a unique opportunity for all those involved to come together and showcase their work and skills to a wide audience. Artpod, who support children and young people’s creativity through workshops and art classes, are just one local organisation taking part.

Artpod director, Sharon Mee, says:

“The Children`s Parade is the highlight of the year for our students. We work with children and young people from across the city and with a wide range of abilities and they have complete autonomy on what is designed and created. The Parade is the perfect celebration of all their hard work.”