Is one ever too old to wear pink punk accessories is the question I will be asking myself this year.

Taking part in the Children’s parade at the incredible Brighton Festival  has become something of a family tradition.  This year we will be dressing in black with ‘punk accessories’ along with our daughter and her classmates who will ride bikes made into monsters whilst sporting mohican helmets (sounds like a circus act!).  The local samba band, The Beach Bateria, will also accompany us ensuring a carnival atmosphere.  Each school interprets the theme which they are given in their own special way and huge withy sculptures add to the drama and spectacle.  The parade is a photographer’s dream – zany, colourful, family orientated fun with that hint of the weird and wonderful that is Brighton itself.

Brighton Festival Childrens Parade

The Festival kicks off this weekend with the parade and lasts three glorious weeks.  Our personal highlights will include: a sensory theatre experience where we will all be blindfolded and told a story through sound, smell and touch; Sinead O’ Connor; a play called ‘Winners and Losers’ which fits in nicely with the boy’s teenage ethos that there are only two types of people in life(I am hoping a theatre troupe might be able to change his mind because he certainly doesn’t listen to me! Moan) and finally a family outing to watch King Lear in a local garden – we are so up there with the cultural literary families.

The former children’s Laureate, Michael Rosen, is this year’s guest director and should ensure that the festival is even more firmly a family affair. Added to the main entertainment is a Fringe Programme and a Spiegel Tent offering vintage cabaret.

My personal festival favourite has to be the Open Houses though.  You get to snoop round other people’s gorgeous houses, experience severe decor and talent envy, drink tea and eat lovely cake in their gardens to boot.  What could be more perfect? I have a personal tradition of buying a rather lovely and unique piece of art every year so will be on the lookout for something small yet unusual.

I can’t recommend the festival enough and am really looking forward to it as I do every year.  However, I still haven’t decided…is one ever too old to wear black with pink punk accessories?  Answers on a postcard please!