A MAJOR parade takes place in Southend to celebrate St George's Day.

The parade on Sunday, April 24 to will celebrate the St George’s Day weekend and the RAF centenary and will include a ceremonial fly past.

It will start at 9.45am outside the Odeon Cinema at the top of Southend High Street and will set off at 10am, led by the ATC Band, RAF Air Cadets 1312 and the colour party from the 54R squadron of the RAF.

The impressive line-up including members of the Armed Services, representatives of the Emergency Services, Cadets, Sea Scouts, Sea Rangers, Guides and Cub Scouts, will march down the High Street to St John’s Church for a special service.

On the way there, the parade will halt at 10.10am at the junction of High Street and Clifftown Road, to be joined by the St George’s Standard and Veterans, and will set off again at 10.25am.

Southend Mayor, Andrew Moring, said: “We are very grateful to the Southend branch of the Royal Society of St George for organising the parade, which this year is on an even bigger scale than previously.

“We are especially honoured to welcome so many RAF personnel taking part and to have the benefit of a fly past at the end of the ceremonies.

“The parade involving hundreds of people from such a wide range of military and uniformed organisations of all ages will make a huge impact.

“I hope as many residents and visitors as possible will come along too, to show their support for the work of our Armed Services, Veterans, Emergency Services and youth organisations.”

A limited number of tickets are available for the church service. If you would like to attend, please email verinaweaver@gmail.com as soon as possible with your full name, address and date of birth, and you may need to show photo ID to collect your ticket.

The service begins at 11am, but the congregation will need to be seated in the church by 10.30am at the latest.

After the service, the parade will re-form for a march past at 12.15pm at the junction of Pier Hill and Royal Mews.

Then it will halt at 12.30pm in front of the official dais in Royal Terrace where the official salute will be taken by Lord Petre the Lord Lieutenant of Essex, 54R Squadron OC – Wing Commander Andy Ross, Royal British Legion President Air Marshall Sir Roger Austin, and the Mayor of Southend, Mr Moring.

Finally at 1pm the event will be rounded off by a ceremonial fly past.