Last year's Mela in Maidstone's Mote Park
A feast of music, food and dance with an international flavour is taking place in the County Town this weekend.
It is the 11th year of the Maidstone Mela, a two-day event aimed at celebrating the borough’s rich cultural diversity.
Festivities will begin on Friday, September 6, in Jubilee Square, with the Schools Parade, which will see 500 local children processing from County Hall to Jubilee Square, accompanied by samba groups and drummers.
Members of the Emerald Steel Band will then kick off the live entertainment in Jubilee Square, followed by performers including comedy duo Danny and Dan, and a tribute act to crooner Michael Bublé.
The fun continues at Mote Park on Sunday, September 8, with an afternoon of entertainment by performers including Bollywood dancers, a Madness tribute band, Nepalese folk musicians and Tibetan monks. There will also be a wide range of food on sale from every corner of the globe.
Maidstone councillor John A. Wilson said: “Mela Friday will bring Jubilee Square to life with music and dance by a fantastic range of acts.
“The Sunday will see even more exciting acts along with food stalls filling Mote Park with the colour, sights, sounds and smells of exotic places throughout the world.”
Bollywood Blast at last year's Mela
Friday, September 6 – Jubilee Square
1.30pm: Maidstone Mela Launch Parade - departing from County Hall
2.30pm: Emerald Steel Band - Kent-based steel band
3.15pm: Lucky Moyo - African singer and percussionist
3.45pm: Danny and Dan - local comedy duo, winners of last year’s Maidstone Has Got Talent
4.15pm: Maidstone Nepalese Community Group - traditional Nepalese folk dance and music
4.45pm: Michael Bublé - singer Georg Tormann as Michael Bublé
5.30pm: Get the Party Started - a Pink tribute act
Four by Four Bhangra at last year's Mela
Sunday, September 8 – Mote Park
12.30pm: Tibetan Monks - eight monks present sacred dance, music and chanted prayer
1pm: Piwnica pod Aniolami (Cellar Under the Angels) - Polish literary cabaret
1.45pm: Bollywood Blast - Maidstone-based Bollywood dance troupe
2.05pm: Maidstone Nepalese Community Group and Naumati Baaja UK - local youngsters perform alongside a leading Nepalese folk group
2.45pm: J-Sol - R‘n’B artist will perform with a full live band and dancers
3.30pm: Maidstone Has Got Talent - winners from this year’s talent show will perform
4pm: Cohesion Plus Dhol Tamasha - fusing traditional bhangra music and dance with contemporary pop and hip hop
4.30pm: Benny Dhaliwal and Raju Dinehwala - two rising stars of the Kent Bhangra music scene
5.30pm: Badness - Madness tribute band
6pm: DJ Paul Aaaron - Maidstone DJ playing soul and roots music
All events are free. Visit www.maidstonemela.com