GRAVESEND town centre turned into the Middle Kingdom for a day as the town held its first ever Chinese New Year parade.

The school procession was led by a Chinese lion from the Shaolin Way group which celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Horse with a parade from Community Square to the top of Windmill Street.

Entertainment followed in the Woodville auditorium from 11.30am on February 4 with Chinese martial arts, singing, dancing and music.

Chinese New Year started on January 31 with celebrations set to last up to two weeks.

Councillor Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi, Gravesham Council cabinet member for business and the community, said: "Gravesham is a very diverse community and I am pleased we are able to add the Chinese New Year celebrations to the many other festivals and events that we promote as a borough."

Kent Equality Cohesion Council director Gurvinder Sandher added: "Here in Gravesham we pride ourselves on our positive and strong communications which is apt as those are two of the attributes of the Chinese year of the horse".

The event was run by the Kent Equality Cohesion Council and the Ying Tao Chinese Association, supported by Kent Fire & Rescue Service and Wing Yip.