St George's Day celebration planned in West Bromwich after annual parade cancelled
A St George's Day celebration will return to West Bromwich thanks to Sandwell Council – after organisers of the famous Stone Cross parade cancelled their event for good.
Organisers of the Stone Cross St George's Parade revealed earlier this week that they would be stepping down from the helm of the annual event.
But it has since been announced that Sandwell Council has stepped in to ensure a celebration event does take place in the town – with a family fun day due to take place in Dartmouth Park on Saturday, April 25.
Councillor Maria Crompton, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for leisure, said: "We will step into the breach and make sure we organise a great family day out to celebrate St George’s Day.
“We helped the organising committee last year with some funding to help make sure the 2019 event happened, but we do understand that they have been running this event for many years and that they couldn’t continue to organise it.
“Although there won’t be a march or parade associated with this year’s event, there will be an event in the park for families organised by the council. We want to work with the community to make the event as successful as we can."
She added: “We are happy to step in and make sure everyone has a great day out to celebrate our patron saint.”
Details of the event will be confirmed nearer the time – with council bosses working on planning the event in the coming weeks.
Organisers of the Stone Cross St George's Parade, which was due to celebrate its 23rd year this year, announced they were stepping down earlier this week – and in a message on the event's Facebook page they said the decision, which has left them heartbroken, was made due to ill health, old age and work commitments.
The event usually sees hundreds of people gather at Westminster Road before heading toward Dartmouth Park.
A statement, posted on Facebook, said: "We at Stone Cross St George would like to thank everyone who has been involved, attended or just liked our media posts, but after decades as the greatest St George's Day Parade in England we have decided to finish the parade.
"There will be no parade organised by us this year or in the future.
"There are three of us who have done this for years and due to ill health, in some cases old age and work commitments, we can't commit to put the hours in it takes to organise this.
"I hope everyone can understand and please don't phone us asking us to re-think.
"We have not taken this decision lightly and it breaks our hearts, but sometimes things just run their course.
"I hope you all enjoyed the parades and I'm sure you would join in the thanks to parade founder Mark Cowles, Mark and Lynne Whitehouse, for all their hard work and dedication to this great country we are all lucky to live in – for England and St George."