A MARCHING band has been chosen to take part in one of the biggest floral carnivals in Europe.

More than 50 members of the EssexMarching Corps will travel to Jersey for the Battle of the Flowers festival after the youth band were picked for the first time.

The group, which has about 70 members from Castle Point and Basildon, has previously performed at the Paralympic Games and in the London New Year’s Day parade.

Band manager, Hayley Meagher, said: “We are immensely proud of this invite to perform, as the last band from Essex to perform there was more than 30 years go.

“It is one of the biggest mardi gras in Europe and all the other bands going have been there for years. I never dreamt when we started 10 years ago we would be.”

The youngest band member taking part will be just eight years old, with other members ranging up to 33. The Battle of the Flowers festival, which began more than a century ago to celebrate the Royal Coronation, will take place in August and is expected to draw crowds of at least 20,000.

The band has already begun practicing new music, which will include traditional and modern pieces. They are going to include the theme tune from Disney’s Frozen for the moonlight parade, during which they will wear blue lights on their uniform.

Over the next 12 months they are also looking to move to their own premises from King John School, in Thundersley, and are hoping to completely revamp their uniforms.

The Essex Marching Corps has recently recorded its very own album, which will be on sale later in the year to help raise funds and has successfully applied for a number of grants.