AN AUTHENTIC display of South Asian arts and Indian cultural entertainment will bring Leicester city centre to life on Sunday (21 August), as the Leicester Belgrave Mela festival returns after a two-year break.
Thousands of people are expected to enjoy a day of spectacular Indian-inspired arts, music, culture, food, fashion and entertainment, with events taking place on Humberstone Gate, Gallowtree Gate, Leicester Market and at the Clock Tower.
The market will host the popular Indian shopping bazaar, featuring an array of stalls selling clothes, jewellery and fashion, while the Mela food court will be serving up delicious foods from across the subcontinent, including authentic Indian tea, green coconuts, kulfi ice cream and amazing fresh sugar cane juices.
The main entertainment stage on Humberstone Gate will provide a platform for dozens of talented performers, while the Sabras roadshow will end the day with an hour-long slot filled with live entertainment and competitions, hosted by their radio presenters and DJs.
There will be lots to do for the whole family, including children’s fairground rides, arts and crafts with Leicester Museums, a Bollywood-style Punch & Judy show, and a life-size ‘elephant’ strolling through the city centre.
Deputy city mayor Cllr Piara Singh Clair said: “We are delighted to see the Mela back on the streets of Leicester this year as it brings colour, excitement and life to the city.
“This summer marks 50 years since the expulsion of thousands of people from Uganda who went on to make Leicester their home. Joyous occasions like the Mela remind us of how Leicester’s diverse communities have enriched life in the city over the years.”
Festival manager Pravin Mistry said: “I am sure the Mela will be a huge success again.
“The fact that thousands of people come every year, from far and wide, just shows what the Mela means to people here in the city.
“After a two-year break, the performers are so excited about entertaining the crowds again.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful volunteers who make the event what it is and say a huge thank you to Leicester City Council for their continued support in helping us make this community-focused festival a truly diverse and entertaining event."
The Leicester Belgrave Mela runs from 11am until 6pm on Sunday (21 August).
For more information, visit www.leicester-mela.co.uk