Redbridge starts the new year magically

Performers take part in the London New Year's Day Parade.

Performers take part in the London New Year's Day Parade. - Credit: PA WIRE

The Mayor of Redbridge has spoken of her delight after the judges of the London’s New Year’s Day Parade presented the borough with a special award.

Cllr Barbara White was thrilled after the float, designed to celebrate Redbridge, was awarded ninth prize in the parade, which this year was themed “30 Years of Magic”.

All of London’s boroughs can enter floats in the parade, with judges awarding cash prizes to donate to charity for the best entries.

She said: “The carnival float was magnificent – it included a unicorn, which is a very magical animal, and the performers included people from all over Redbridge.

“I performed That Old Black Magic on the trumpet, with my nephew Jason joining me on the saxophone, and we performed whilst the float was finishing its show in front of the judges.

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“We received a cheque for £2,500 which will be split between the mayor’s charities and was a fantastic start to 2016.

Thousands of people filled the streets in central London to watch the parade, which included more than 8,500 performers representing 20 countries, including acrobats, cheerleaders and marching bands.

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Creative dance group Paracarnival, who designed the float, were delighted to perform on behalf of Redbridge.

Group creators Richard Selim Sleeman and his wife Bettina were inspired by the colours of festivals in Rio.

Richard said: “Our performance was very inclusive – our performers used British Sign Language in the dance.

“It was a beautiful show. Previously, that unicorn was used on a float in Rio, so we thought it was pretty magical!”

The Redbridge Rotary Club joined WheelPower, the UK charity for wheelchair sport, in playing wheelchair basketball along the route

Eve Conway, vice president of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, said: “Rotary and WheelPower have partnered to support disabled people and show the real magic of transforming lives through sport and taking part in the London New Year’s Day Parade is a magical way to mark the start of 2016 – the year of the next Paralympic Games in Rio.”

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