15,000 on streets for St George's Day
[gallery] Thousands took to the streets of the Black Country for what is thought to be the country's biggest St George's Day parade.
Among those at the annual event in Stone Cross, in West Bromwich, were veterans from the Armed Forces and the Royal British Legion.
Before the parade started yesterday, a minute's silence was held in memory of all those who lost their lives in the First World War.
It was followed by a rendition of 'Jerusalem' and 'God Save The Queen' before the crowds – many waving flags – set off on a march around the streets.
The march began in Westminster Road before a sea of red and white made their way to Dartmouth Park.
Houses along the route were decorated in the colours of St George with organisers estimating as many as 15,000 took part in the celebrations.
Among those at the parade was Jacqui Johnson, aged 57, from West Bromwich. She said: "I come every year and it's good to see the community celebrating. There's always a really good spirit and everyone enjoys themselves."
Her friend Claire Blakemore, aged 40, from The Woods Estate, added: "It's organised really well and it's good to see people out and taking pride in their country and their history."
The parade has been going for 17 years and is funded privately from donations from the community.
It has grown year by year and attracts participants from across the country.
Organiser Mark Cowles, 45, said: "This a parade funded by the people for the people.
"It is something to celebrate our heritage and being proud to be English. It is the biggest parade in the country and we get people from London and from up north coming here.
"It has been a fantastic day and you can see what it means to the community when you're marching and there are old women with a tear in their eye as we pass them."
Other events will be taking place to mark St George's Day. In Wolverhampton, the city's mayor Councillor Milkinder Jaspal is hosting food-themed celebration on April 23 to raise cash for three charities. He will be hosting a patriotic event in the Mayoral Suite to celebrate all things English, starting with bangers and mash and a delicious dessert. There will also be entertainment from Miss Fortunes, a West Midlands based vocal harmony trio who will be performing an eclectic mix of songs.Celebrations will also be held in Brierley Hill, on Saturday from 10.30am to 3pm.
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