Picnickers at Princess Vlei may have been startled by the sight of nine giant birds and a giant praying mantis on Heritage day. The creatures were part of the colourful Flight of Dreams parade, held annually by the Princess Vlei Forum to celebrate the natural and cultural heritage of Princess Vlei.
In the weeks before the event, children learnt about important species of birds found at Princess Vlei and other wetlands in a series of "Meet the bird" workshops. The Forum and the Peter Clarke Art Centre co-hosted a workshop for teachers, who discovered how to make a colourful wetland food chain, including a bird, fish and insect, from a paper plate (see "Is it a bird or a plate"). Vincent Meyburgh of Jungle Theatre prepared Lotus High Students for a Story telling performance, and Michelle from Naturali Catchi Rhythms helped to prepare the Fairmount High Marching Band
On September 24th, learners from the Dominican Grimley School for the Deaf, Lotus High School, Hyde Park Primary, John Graham Primary, Levana Primary and Harmony Primary came together to decorate the bird puppets create by children last year, and to create headresses.
At two o'clock, all the paraders began to assemble outside LOFOB for the parade
The colourful Parade set off up First Road and down First Avenue, keeping time with with the drummers of Fairmount High. The giant bird puppets flew over the heads of the paraders.
At Princess Vlei, the Paraders moved among the crowds enjoying their Heritage Day picknics and braais.
The Fairmount High Band was put through its paces, and the Lotus High learners performed the story of the Great Bird Race, a Khoisan legend of how the weaver came to be the king of the birds.
After the performance, the children enjoyed being part of a drum circle, while organisers arranged the birds and other artworks by the learners into an art display at the water's edge. A few pelicans swam past to view these unusual species.
When the display was up, the children enjoyed looking at their work, and celebrating a day of birds, creativity, community and most of all fun.
Posts by Bridget Pitt unless stated otherwise.