SUNNY streets came alive with singing and dancing this weekend, as hundreds of people joined the York Carnival.

The spectacular began with a parade comprising bands, orchestras and dancers - including Lowfield Steel Band, Scarcroft Pocket Runners and Hotline Dance - making their way through the city centre.

Then, dozens of children from schools across York joined world music choir Chechelele to sing Ama Ibu - an African song that emulates the sounds of the rainforest.

Chechelele member Andy D'Agorne said: "We try to learn the authentic steps, movements and history to go with the songs, so that our audiences learn something about the cultures and people we have collected them from." Organiser Jessica Brand, 21, a University of York music student, said 4,000 pupils from 12 primary schools had learned the song.

She said: "Originally I had in mind a two-hour event focusing on world music, but word spread and so many people wanted to join in that it has ended up as eight hours long.

"It has taken me almost a year to organise and a lot of other things have fallen by the wayside. But my dream is to organise the Oscars, so it has been good experience."

Workshops also took place in St Sampson's Square and King's Square, including children's face mask painting, drumming, music and samba dancing.

Updated: 10:48 Monday, May 03, 2004