Weymouth children close Paralympics with a bang

GREAT FUN: Dinosaurs Not Allowed dancing in Weymouth

GREAT FUN: Dinosaurs Not Allowed dancing in Weymouth

First published in News Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

THE Paralympics closed with a bang in Weymouth and Portland with a range of cultural events on the final weekend.

Morris dancers took to the streets, bands played up a storm, singers sang sea shanties and hundreds of schoolchildren danced along Weym-outh Esplanade dressed as sea creatures as part of the Moving Tides procession.

The various events were part of the Maritime Mix Cultural Olympiad by the Sea and b-side multimedia arts festival that have been running throughout the summer.

As the Paralympics drew to a close, people packed into the ICCI360 dome by Weymouth Pavilion to watch the live broadcast of the London closing ceremony called the ‘Festival of Flame’ featuring the band Coldplay.

On Sunday three bands performed at the Jubilee Clock on Weymouth seafront as part of Bandstand Marathon – a national event to mark the end of the Games.

People were encouraged to join in a drum circle as Magic Drum took to the stage. There were also performances from Weymouth Concert Brass and The Gasworks Singers.

Ralph Cree from Magic Drum said: “It’s been really good fun.”

Lucy Hather from Bandstand Marathon said that outside of London, the outdoor musical performances were the biggest closing event for the Games.

She said: “It’s nice people can come together and enjoy the free music – it’s a lovely atmosphere.”

Onlooker Mary Groom, 81, from Weymouth said the event was ‘marvellous’.

She said: “I think it’s great – I love it.”

On Satur-day in Wey-mouth town centre, dinosaurs were definitely not allowed as a group of young Morris dancers wowed the crowd.

The Dinosaurs Not Allowed project, run by company Caperbag, is the culmination of four years work to inspire young people with traditional English dance.

Several groups, including the Wyke Smugglers, went to the Olympic Park on September 1 to entertain the crowds.

Musician Pat Green said: “It was a wonderful experience for all the children to dance in London.”

On Portland, Tout Quarry rang to the sound of a sea shanty inspired by the women of the isle.

The shanty, entitled Sailing for Gold, the brainchild of Falmouth artists A & B, also known as Annie Lovejoy and Belle Benfield, was created as part of the b-side multimedia arts festival.

More than 80 people came together on Saturday to walk around the quarry in Easton , singing as they went.

There is a plan to create a women’s sea shanty group.

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