Formed as a committee in March 2016, the Rossington Parade and Community Arts Group (RPCAP) worked on 2 major events for them: a Fun Palace Day in October 2016, and a Grand Parade in May 2017. It is many years since there was a parade on May Day, although Right Up Our Street, an arts group based in Doncaster, helped to stage one in October 2015, based on a Halloween theme. It is mentioned in another article on this website.
The Grand Parade team asked for suggestions from Rossington villagers for the theme for the parade, and the majority of respondents asked for it to be Past, Present and Future of Rossington. Money for the Parade was made available from an Arts Council grant which forms part of a larger sum aimed at improving culture in the Doncaster area, and the fund was accessed via Right Up Our Street. They put the team in touch with Handmade Parade and artists from that group, based in Hebden Bridge, visited Rossington to talk to them about the theme. They went away and presented a few months later their ideas for the 3 parts of the Parade: past being represented by the pit, present tied into the ongoing issues with the level crossing and future being the return of greenery and animals to our surroundings. They brought the colour scheme and over a series of workshops in schools, in Brodsworth Way and Holmescarr Centres, and some in Hebden Bridge, the pieces gradually were brought together with leadership from artists, but with many local people making what would become their costumes.
The Parade travelled from Holmescarr via Grange Lane, down Queen Mary’s Road, stopping off to give a choral performance for the residents of the Royal Care Home, and then onwards to West End Lane to the Welfare. The music added to the colour, and it was provided by Sharon Richards’ choir, St Michaels School Orchestra, and the Handmade Samba Band, with dancing as well as song.
The photographs below show some of the pieces and give a flavour of the day. The professional ones were supplied by Craig Shaw.