Northampton's first 'Mela' festival comes to Beckets Park this weekend

The Buddies of Beckets park group have organised the event with the help of a 3,000 grant from the borough council.
The Buddies of Beckets park group have organised the event with the help of a 3,000 grant from the borough council.

Sikh drummers, Sri Lankan dancers and local DJs will descend on Becket's Park this weekend for Northampton's first ever "Mela" festival.

The free community event is being held on Beckets Park on Sunday (July 30) from noon to 4pm.

The Mela festival event will be held on Becket's Park.

The Mela festival event will be held on Becket's Park.

The line-up includes a set by Russian folk dancers, an African fashion show and the Northampton General Hospital choir.

Northampton park group Buddies of Beckets are launching the event after a £3,000 grant by the borough council.

Nick Stephens, chairman of Buddies of Beckets, said: "There are lots of Melas in larger towns and cities but Northampton has never hosted one and it is

fantastic that it is in Beckets Park.

"We hope this event will bring people together and create more understanding between communities. There have been so many horrific incidents in the UK and abroad recently, we hope people will just come and relax and enjoy the different cultural experiences going on in the park."

Mela is a Sanskrit work meaning a gathering, meeting or fair. They are held by Asian communities during the summer throughout the world.

Sikh drummers along with Bhangra Blaze, a keep fit craze set to Bhangra music, will open the free entertainment at midday. The live show will continue until 4pm and will include performances by singer Ajitpal Pali, gymnastic displays and DJ sets.

There will also be stalls offering crafts, food and drink and information about local organisations.

Cllr Anna King, the Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “We are extremely pleased to be able to support Buddies of Becket’s Melaproject from this year’s small grants pot.

“Community events like the Mela are a great way of bringing the public together to celebrate diversity and we encourage people to head to Becket’s Park and enjoy the wide range of free entertainment taking place this Sunday.”