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. A spectacular weekend of events across May 13, 14 and 15 is planned 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 (May 14) and will be full of dancing, drumming, music, singing with colourful costumes, flags and much more.

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.

READ MORE: What’s on in Coventry this week including The Snuts and Emili Sandé

The 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.”

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



Coventry City of Culture signature event 'Coventry Moves'
Coventry City of Culture signature event ‘Coventry Moves’ #thearts #commercialphotography

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 (May 13). Later that evening, and repeating on Saturday (May 14), The Awakening , a world premiere by ground-breaking French company Gratte Ciel will take place above Broadgate.

On Sunday (May 15), 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 Sunday, 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, 27 to Sunday, 29 May with Harry Styles recently announced as one of the headliners.

The full This is the City line-up includes:

Welcome

  • City Hosts Gold Badge Holders

  • River Runners – Louis Lewinson, Nancy Gibson

  • Breakdots Extreme Sports Performers – Choreographer and Breakdancer Marius Mates, Breakdancer Jamaal O’Driscoll, Scooter Keelan Phillips, Bike Josh Tyler

  • City Hosts Coventry Samba Collective

  • Radford Bubbles – Sherrie Edgar, Mounira Bitchikh, Saradha Krishnamoorthy, Joy Batchelor, Jennifer de Sousa, Chloe Griffin

  • Earlsdon Primary

Choreography – Jenni Jackson and Lucy Glassbrook

Music – Impact Steelband

Sanctuary

  • Circolombia

  • Sanctuary Community

  • Sharing Cultures

Creative Lead – Hannah Beck

Harmony

  • Sound Truck – Sisters in Dub, Mackabees

  • Reggae Fever Carnival Participants

  • The Curious Club

Creative Lead – Colin Bell

Freedom

Peace

Creative Lead – Jennifer Davis

Designer – Tom Piper

Utopia

Creative Lead – Frankie Robson

Coventry in the World

  • Circus Raj & Raj Brass Band

  • Bulgarian Community

  • Ska Dancers

  • Irish Dancers

  • Bollywood/Bhangra Dancers

  • International Childrens’ Games

Choreography – Jenni Jackson and Lucy Glassbrook

City of Light

  • Sahyadri Friends Group

  • Kadence Music Drummers

  • Abundance Participants

  • Legion of Warriors

Being Human

Creative Lead – Jo Gleave

Hope

Creative Lead – Frankie Robson

Amazing Women

  • Modern-day Godivas – Christine Sugary Staples, Jess McLish, Kristy Brewerton, Last Mafuba, Pru Porretta, Reena Jaisiah, Surinder Dhillon

  • Godiva Trust

  • Women of the City

  • Knights of Middle England – Horses and Riders

Creative Lead – Hannah Beck

Green Futures

  • Haus of Kraft Collective

  • This is Africa – Drummers

  • Sidney Stringer Primary and Secondary School

  • St John Vianney Catholic Primary School (Junk Kouture)

Creative Lead – Jeanefer Jean-Charles





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