THE third annual Girlington Parade will take place this Wednesday, June 18, organisers have announced, following a successful May Day Parade last year which attracted a crowd of more than 2,000 people.

Bradford Council's West Area office has worked with partners to make the parade happen and it has been planned as a celebration of the area's diverse community.

This year, it has been given the theme of reading and will highlight the launch of the Bradford Literacy Campaign, which seeks to raise awareness of the importance of literacy skills among those who live in the district.

The parade will take place between 1.15 pm and 2.45 pm, starting at West Park and following a route through the Girlington community to a finishing point at Durham Road.

Bradford Council will be represented by ward councillors and the Lord Mayor, along with others representing West Yorkshire Police and local schools.

Girlington residents Karam and Kartari Chand, the world's oldest married couple, are also expected to attend.

Before the parade, there will be book themed assemblies at local primary schools, with a storyteller reading to children and the Bradford Bookstart bear also visiting St Edmunds Nursery and Children's Centre.

Staff from the Bradford Literacy Campaign will be giving out a free book for every child donated by national book publishers, Walker Books including over 700 of Walker’s‘Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made, by Stephan Pastis. Walker will also be providing Timothy Fail masks and a banner with the book’s motto, ‘Reading Leads the Way to Greatness’.

Coun Imran Hussain, deputy leader of the Council, said: "This is the third annual parade in Girlington which brings the local community together.

"Our previous parades have celebrated the Queen’s Jubilee, and cultural diversity in Girlington. But this year’s theme of reading is very important because learning to read and love books gives children the basis for a lifetime of education."

Daniel Walker, Assistant Head Girlington Primary School, said: "We are delighted that the emphasis is all about the love of reading. We want our parents and children to embrace reading because it gives children the best chances in their future lives."

Imran Hafeez, the National Literacy Trust’s Bradford Hub manager, said: "The Bradford Literacy Campaign is officially launching later in the summer but we didn’t want to miss this chance to be part of such an important local event in Bradford and get books into the community."