We have so many reasons to be proud of Crawley – and they all shone through during the weekend’s 70th anniversary celebrations.
Saturday lunchtime (November 25) saw a 400-strong parade wind its happy, noisy way through the town centre, along the High Street and back to the Memorial Gardens.
With mayor Brian Quinn leading the way, accompanied by a large red dragon, the parade demonstrated the friendly diversity that makes our town special.
There were musicians and dancers from many of the communities who call our town home, as well as schoolchildren carrying handmade flags, masks and umbrellas.
Perhaps the latter had anticipated a typically British downpour – but the sky stayed clear on what proved to be a brisk winter’s day.
Once the parade was over, the celebrations moved to the Memorial Gardens where there was music and dance a-plenty to see out the afternoon.
An estimated 5,000 people stopped by to enjoy the entertainment and take in the smattering of stalls.
As darkness fell, Ed Sheeran tribute act Jack Shepherd took to the stage, much to the delight of many of the youngsters in the crowd.
It was something of a first for young Jack, who said it was the first time he had had to wear a jumper during a gig!
As he took his bow, the sky exploded with an impressive fireworks display that had every eye turned to the heavens.
It’s fitting that so many people from so many cultures were brought together to mark the anniversary of the forming of the new town.
Since 1947, Crawley has been a welcoming home to anyone who cares to put down roots – it’s why our town motto is ‘I grow and I rejoice’. We’re diverse, we’re tolerant and our community spirit is second to none.
Mr Quinn said: “I’m very lucky that my year as mayor fell on the 70th anniversary. It was fantastic. I’ve always said that Crawley is the finest example of multi-culturalism in Britain. It’s a fantastic town.”
The event was funded by the Arts Council England and was put together by Crawley Borough Council, Cohesion Plus and Same Sky.