SUFFRAGETTES, scientists and sports stars could be spotted at the heart of a colourful procession that will wind its way through the streets of Darlington when the town’s annual carnival returns.
More than a thousand people are expected to take part in the event’s main attraction, the large and lively parade that will take dressed-up crowds from the Market Square to Stanhope Park.
For months, community groups and school children have been working with arts facilitator Yvonne Preston to create a huge array of costumes, sculptures and banners for the parade, which aims to honour and celebrate heroic people, past and present.
On Saturday, June 30, the Heroes and Heroines themed carnival will begin with performances in the square, with the Joanne Lowe Dance School beginning the proceedings and setting the stage for shows from the Darlington Cheerleaders and the Voices of Darlington.
The Pease Monument will also play host to Stage Darlington and Inspire Beyond while further musical and dance performances can be enjoyed throughout the afternoon at Stanhope Park.
Young Darlington rapper Endem will headline the Platform in the Park and will appear after acts including Eve Conway, Lifetime Skiver and Hayley McKay.
The 25-year-old’s talents were recognised earlier this year when he was given the 2018 Maddison Lyonette award and the opportunity to headline the carnival’s mainstage.
Endem said he was looking forward to his performance, saying it was an “absolute honour” to receive the award, which was established in memory of late former councillors and carnival supporters Jackie Maddison and Joe Lyonette.
This year’s carnival aims to boost funds for its nominated charitable cause for 2018, Bikestop.
The social enterprise supports those who are socially excluded, homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by training them to maintain bicycles.
The organisation’s coordinator, Rob Archer, said: “We are very pleased to have been nominated as the carnival’s charity for this year.
“We have been involved with the event for many years and always enjoy the community atmosphere.”
The parade will leave the Market Square at 11am. All are welcome to participate.