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The Maidstone Mela at Mote Park will have diverse artists and entertainment this year

By Kent Messenger reporter

A diverse selection of cultures will be celebrated at a festival of song, dance and cuisine.

The Maidstone Mela will return with a programme of colourful entertainment, starting with a carnival parade on Friday, September 12.

A procession of musicians and more than 400 children from seven local primary schools will make its way from County Hall in Week Street at 1.35pm and down to Fremlin Walk, before finishing in Brenchley Gardens at 2pm.

Dancers from the Nepalese community at last year's Mela
Dancers from the Nepalese community at last year's Mela

The town centre spectacle will be a warm-up for the main show at Mote Park on Sunday, September 14.

Organisers are promising a new look to the event, now in its 12th year.

A range of performers are booked to appear on the open-air stage between 12.30pm and 7pm, including Bollywood Blast, Gypsy Stars, an Afro-Bhangra fusion piece featuring Four by Four Bhangra and Uzambezi Arts, and soul star Ruby Turner.

There will also be dozens of stalls selling international food and crafts.

Ethan Jeche at last year's Maidstone Mela
Ethan Jeche at last year's Maidstone Mela

Artistic director Gurvinder Sandher said: “We are very excited by the programme that we have developed for the Mela this year.

"The carnival parade will have a fresh new look to it this year, including a number of exciting culturally diverse artists and a new route, while the celebrations on the Sunday include a top-quality stage programme.”

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