Sparks Will Fly on June 23!!
Southend is THE place to be on Saturday June 23rd when the town will stage a fantastic FREE day of events as part of the Essex-wide ‘Sparks Will Fly’ cultural extravaganza.
‘Sparks Will Fly - Southend’ is one of a host of celebrations taking place across the county in the run-up to the London 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games. The exact itinerary for what promises to be a spectacular occasion is currently being finalised by organisers. But the Southend Carnival Parade from Southchurch Park to City Beach on Southend sea front will be central to the celebration.
This year the parade will be led by Marina Mightier, one of two giant ‘Champions’ chosen as ambassadors for Sparks Will Fly. In addition to the usual floats Marina’s entourage will include a ‘colour party’ of 50 dancers from Shoeburyness High School and the Southend Air Cadets Marching Band.
Upon arriving at City Beach Marina will be presented with a special commemorative glass bead by the Worshipful the Mayor of Southend, Councillor Sally Carr. Marina and her fellow champion Boreas Zephyr will be collecting glass beads representing every district and borough in Essex as they tour the county throughout May and June.
The beads will take centre stage at the culmination of ‘Sparks Will Fly’ in Chelmsford’s Hylands Park on July 6th, the day the Olympic Torch Relay visits the county. That is when Marina and Boreas will use them to play ‘The Game’, pitting their strength against each other as they conjure up the beads of wind, water and fire in a spectacular fiery showdown.
As well as embracing this year’s carnival ‘Sparks Will Fly – Southend’ will feature a whole range of other cultural and sporting activities. Selected acts from the Leigh Folk Festival will break away from the main performance areas in Leigh-on-Sea to appear at Warrior Square Gardens.
Southchurch Park will play host to the ‘Urban Games’ and a number of unique opportunities for people of all ages to try basketball, football, climbing, tennis, gymnastics, dance and aerobics.
Southend Marine Activities Centre on Eastern Esplanade will be offering free water sports taster sessions in sailing, windsurfing, jet skiing and kayaking.
A ‘Battle of the Bands’ competition will take place where local groups will have a promotional video of themselves performing uploaded onto the Southend Festival Facebook page.
Followers of the page and Sparks Will Fly celebrations are invited to vote for their best band by ‘liking’ their favourite video on Facebook and the five most popular acts will get the opportunity to perform live at Chinnery’s on Marine Parade in front of a judging panel.
Prizes for the best bands include a recording session with Maple Studios, the chance to have a track mastered by Spearhavoc Records as well as a £500 voucher for music store PMT. The winner will also get the chance to perform at the UK’s biggest independent festival, Brownstock, whose stage was graced last year by the likes of Example, Pendulum and Athlete.
Other attractions will include:
A 5km race
the ‘Whacky Walk’
‘Learn to fish’ taster sessions from Southend Pier
the ‘Busking Out’ street performance festival and
an RNLI Open Day
Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Corporate Director for Adult & Community Services, Simon Leftley, said:
“Saturday June 23rd is going to be a very special day in Southend. With our unique seaside location we intend to make our Sparks Will Fly event one of the most spectacular in the county and an occasion that the whole of Essex can be proud of. A lot of hard work and planning is going into the events that have been organised and there will be something for everyone to do on the day. Whether you’re the sporty type who wants to try out a new outdoor activity or someone whose idea of bliss is to sit in the sunshine and listen to music there’s something for you. There will be something going on in Southend on June 23rd to entertain everyone in the family – young or old – and I urge people to start planning their day now. The 2012 Olympics are just around the corner and this is Southend’s way of warming up for the arrival of the Torch Relay on July 6th so make sure you join in the fun!”
‘Sparks Will Fly – Southend’ is being co-ordinated by the Southend Summercare Carnival, Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, South Essex College, Leigh Folk Festival and Essex County Council.
For a full list of the day's events and times visit www.facebook.com/southendfestival
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