THOUSANDS of shoppers lined the streets to enjoy the sights and sounds of the Bury Beat Parade.

The procession set off from Central Street on Friday to celebrate the opening of the £350 million development in The Rock.

Leading the way were stiltwalkers, Alix Drennan, who was recently crowned Miss Bury, and Manchester-based samba band Republic of Swing.

They were followed by members of a host of other organisations, including Greater Manchester Pipe Band and staff and pupils from Whitefield Primary School.

Ticker tape rained down as the hundreds of people in the parade headed towards St John’s Square.

There, they gathered to enjoy a performance by Reborn, a taiko group who performed a traditional Japanese drumming ritual.

Among the people watching the parade were Joanne Savage, from Bury, and her children. She said: “I saw the parade this morning and thought it was fantastic, so I decided to come back with my children. It’s really good to get everyone involved. This is something different for Bury and it’s great to be a part of it.”

Scott Yates, from Ramsbottom, said: “The parade is fantastic and shows different cultures. There’s a great atmosphere. It’s really bringing everyone together.”