Northampton's Mela festival set to cement itself as new annual event this month

Northampton's annual Mela event will return to Becket's Park this month.
Northampton's annual Mela event will return to Becket's Park this month.

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

The free community event is being held on Beckets Park on July 28 from noon to 4pm.

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

It is the third event of its kind for the town after Northampton park group Buddies of Beckets launched the event in 2017 and was boosted in 2018 by a £3,000 grant by the borough council.

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

This year's attractions include the opportunity to try your skills on a climbing wall, see the police firearms team, look in a fire engine and meet the armed

forces.

Pupils from Kristina Rihanoff’s School of Drama and Dance will be on the stage performing alongside BhangraBlaze, the Shireen Bellydance

Troupe, Irish and Russian dancers, African and Sikh drummers, a Reggae/Dub duo plus lots of other singers and musical acts from Northampton's diverse communities.

DJ Amrit will be performing and will be joined on stage by the day's three hosts - Mark Dean from BBC, assistant coroner and activist Hassan Shah and Nisha Mejer.

Nick Stephens, co-founder of Buddies of Beckets, said: "We hope this event will bring people together and create more understanding between communities.

"We hope people will just come and relax and enjoy the different cultural experiences going on in the park."

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