A PLETHORA of colourful flags and banners were carried through High Wycombe this afternoon by about 700 Muslims to celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammed.

Members of the Isalmic community held the annual parade to mark Mawlid An-Nabi.

An open top bus decorated with balloons and banners led the procession from just outside Jubilee Road mosque at 11.45am.

It then made its way to the Guildhall through Desborough, past Frogmoor and along the High Street.

Police performed rolling road closures throughout the town centre to make way for the worshippers.

Sweets, roses and pamphlets explaining the reasons for the march were distributed to fascinated onlookers.

Zafar Iqbal, chairman of the Wycombe Islamic Mission, said: “We are marking to celebrate the birth of the holy prophet Mohammed.

“This is very, very important to our Islamic functions. It is high profile because as like Christmas we celebrate the birth of the holy prophet.

“We distribute leaflets to people so they know what it’s about and generally it is a celebration day up and down the country in different times they celebrate this.

“In the mosques inside we hold different kinds of programs for younger people, for older for everybody.

“The flags some are in English, some in Urdu they are there to say that we’re celebrating his birth”.

Anne Bowker, chairman of Wycombe Sharing of Faiths, was one observer on the way.

“It’s a big event and great chance for them to show their presence in a good way.

“I think in doing this they are doing something for themselves and they offer something for the community.”

She said it was good for High Wycombe to be at the centre of such an event.

The parade came to a halt by the Guildhall where speeches were made to the assembled crowds and participants.

They were told the message of the event was one of peace and harmony.