Changes to Diwali Day celebrations
Published on Wednesday, October 23, 2019
CHANGES have been announced to this weekend’s Diwali Day celebrations because of wet weather that has left part of the festival site waterlogged and unusable.
Festivities on Sunday, October 27, had been due to take place at Cossington Street Recreation Ground, including a funfair, Diwali Village and main stage featuring a programme of live entertainment.
However, organisers have taken the decision not to use the recreation ground because of the amount of mud and standing water on the site following recent bad weather.
Instead, the celebrations will be located once again at the same location as the Diwali lights switch-on event two weeks ago, with the main stage being located on Belgrave Road just ahead of Belgrave Circle.
The stage programme runs from 6pm to 8.30pm and features a stunning programme of live performers and attractions bringing alive the sights and sounds of the Indian subcontinent.
Attractions will culminate in a stunning aerial firework display over the Golden Mile at about 8.10pm, choreographed by local pyrotechnics company Bright Spark Fireworks.
Stalls which would have been on Cossington Street Recreation Ground will now be placed along nearby Rendall Road, which runs alongside the park. They will be open from 3pm to 9pm.
Organisers have decided that the funfair cannot be relocated, so this will no longer take place.
The Wheel of Light will remain in place near the main stage on Belgrave Road, giving visitors stunning views over the Golden Mile’s glittering lights from a 110-foot vantage point. On Diwali Day it will be open for rides from 1pm until 11pm, and will remain in place until November 10.
Leicester deputy city mayor for culture, leisure and sport, Cllr Piara Singh Clair, said: “We want everyone who comes to celebrate Diwali Day to have an enjoyable, safe time, enjoying the fantastic programme of events on offer.
“Having looked closely at the condition of Cossington Street Recreation Ground over the last two weeks following the wet weather, we feel that unfortunately it isn’t in a suitable state to host such a busy event.
“It isn’t a decision we’ve taken lightly, but working with the police, security and festival organisers we’ve agreed to move the main stage back onto Belgrave Road, where it is every year for the Diwali lights switch-on.
“It means we have nowhere to host the funfair, which sadly means it won’t take place this time.
“However, people will still be able to enjoy the Wheel of Light, the 6,000 glittering Diwali lights, the live performances from the ever-popular stage programme, and of course the spectacular firework display, safely.”
Traffic and traffic arrangements in place on the Sunday will be similar to those which were in place for the Diwali Lights switch-on event earlier this month.
Belgrave Road will be closed to all traffic between Belgrave Circle and Garfield Street from 10am, with the rest of Belgrave Road due to close completely from 5pm until about 9.30pm when the festivities have ended.
Rothley Street, Rendall Road and Cossington Street will also close to general traffic from 10am until 2.30pm to allow stallholders to get into position, and closed to all traffic after 2.30pm. Stalls will be open from 3pm until 8.30pm.
As in previous years, various road closures and parking restrictions will also be in place on side roads in the surrounding area during Sunday daytime and evening.
Special Park and Ride services will be running to ensure to visitors can travel safely to and from the popular event. Buses will run from Birstall’s Park and Ride site – on Loughborough Road, postcode LE4 4NN - to Abbey Park Road, from 4pm until 8pm, with return journeys departing from Abbey Park Road from 8.30pm, with the last service at 10pm.
Some bus services will be diverted during the closure of Belgrave Road, and car parking in the Belgrave area will be very limited during the event.
The nearest car park to the Golden Mile is a 24-hour NCP car park at Abbey Street, which is less than a five-minute walk from bus stops and about a 15-minute walk from the event.
Haymarket car park will be closed as part of ongoing works, but other 24-hour parking is available in the city centre at Lee Circle. On-street parking is also available throughout the city centre.
Blue badge holders will be able to use a limited number of car parking spaces at the B&M site, accessed off Belgrave Circle. To apply, call 0116 454 3600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
There will also be free bike and buggy parking, located close to the Wheel of Light ride, near Belgrave Circle.
More details of traffic and travel choices are available from www.choosehowyoumove.co.uk
The Diwali Leicester 2019 guide is available for the Visit Leicester Information Centre in Gallowtree Gate, as well as at customer service centres, libraries, shops and cafes.
The Diwali celebrations are presented by the Leicester Hindu Festival Council and Leicester City Council, and are believed to be the largest outside of India.
A full programme of events is available at visitleicester.info