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21st May, 2022

Celebrations to mark culmination of UK City of Culture in Coventry

AROUND 1,000 participants will bring sound, colour, action and celebration to the streets of Coventry city centre as part of the culmination of UK City of Culture 2021.

Coventry City of Culture Trust is putting on a weekend of events from May 13 to 15 as the city’s year as UK City of Culture approaches its end.

That includes This is the City, the city’s longest ever carnival-style parade will celebrate the local communities and wonderful array of artists that have helped Coventry move over the past 12 months.

This free event, takes place at 1pm on Saturday, and will be full of dancing, drumming, music, singing with colourful costumes, flags and so much more, a real mash-up of the wonderful creative events that have marked the year. Each section of the parade is based on the 12 themes that have led the UK City of Culture year.

The 12 sections – representing each month of Coventry’s year as UK City of Culture and talk to the identity of the city and our many stories – include Welcome, Sanctuary, Harmony, Freedom, Peace, Utopia, Coventry in the World, City of Light, Being Human, Hope, Amazing Women and Green Futures.

This Is the City Parade will start and end at the Cox Street Car Park and will travel on a 2.8km route around the city centre, passing Coventry Transport Museum, Belgrade Theatre, the former IKEA Building, Bullyard, The Wave, Assembly Festival Garden, Coventry City Council House, the Herbert Art Gallery and the Elephant.

Chenine Bhathena, creative director of the Coventry City of Culture Trust, said:“It’s been an extraordinary year for the city, full of many wonderful memories, and This is the City is the perfect chance to reflect on some of the amazing highlights. The parade will be a vibrant celebration of the diversity of cultures and creativity here in the city and across the region.

“At about 350 metres in length, This is the City will include everything from all night ravers, upcycling fashionistas, faith leaders, ska steppers and community choirs, creating a feast of sound and colour to celebrate the city and its people.

“So many people have played a part in creating this memorable year and everyone will have lots of favourite moments, so this is a chance to relive some of the excitement. For others perhaps late to the party, come along and see for yourself what’s changed in the city and experience the energy, youthfulness and creativity of this extraordinary place and see Coventry Move.”

Participants and performers representing these identities are now in rehearsals to bring so many of the highlights of Coventry 2021 together in celebration.

The full procession is expected to last around two hours before it reaches its conclusion back at Cox Street Car Park.

During the weekend of celebration, the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, The Reel Store will open at the Telegraph Hotel on Friday. Later that evening, and repeating on Saturday, The Awakening, a world premiere by ground-breaking French company Gratte Ciel will take place above Broadgate.

On Sunday, Our Wilder Family, a spectacular artist-led drone show inspired by the movements of flocks of birds, will take to the skies above the city at War Memorial Park.

Wildlife Gathering takes centre stage on the third weekend (Friday May 20 to Sunda May 22), with Coventry’s myriad of parks and green spaces being celebrated with activities. The festivities conclude with Radio 1’s Big Weekend coming to Coventry’s War Memorial Park from Friday May 27 to Sunday May 29.

Visit coventry2021.co.uk/ for full details of all planned events.

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