Children's parade starts 2014 Brighton Festival

Children's Parade 2014
Image caption Children dressed in colourful costumes paraded through the city centre

More than 5,000 children from 83 schools have taken part in a parade to mark the start of the three-week Brighton Festival.

Andrew Comben , the festival's chief executive, said the parade was the start of a huge day for the city.

"It couldn't have been a better morning for it," he said.

"The people who run the children's parade say the sun always comes out. I'm not sure that is entirely true but today it is, which is terrific."

He said the parade had been taking place for 25 years, so the children now taking part had parents who had also done so.

"It's a wonderful, wonderful part of Brighton's history."

The 2014 festival's guest director - a role created in 2009 - is Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter.

Previous incumbents have included Burmese democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi and actress Vanessa Redgrave.

The festival will feature 448 performances and 147 events in 34 venues across the city.

Mr Comben said having a different guest director every year allowed the festival to reinvent itself.

"Hofesh Shechter is really making waves right across the world," he said.

"The range of stuff that he is interested in has excited us because it means a festival like ours can go off in all sorts of directions, whether it is dance, music, theatre or circus.

"It's all here and it's fantastic."

Image caption Israeli choreographer Hofesh Shechter is the festival's sixth guest director

Shechter's own production, Sun, is among the shows being performed at the festival.

The festival is supported by grants from the Arts Council and Brighton and Hove City Council, as well as private donors.

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