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Maidstone: Community Mela and Food Festival in Whatman Park

Flavours from around the world will come together for a free community festival.

Whatman Park in Maidstone will be the setting for the Maidstone Community Mela and Food Festival on Sunday, July 22.

A celebration of music, food and dance from around the world, it has been run in the town since 2003 and is organised by Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Cohesion Plus, with help from local groups.

Maidstone Mela in Whatman Park, Maidstone last year Picture: Sarah Knight
Maidstone Mela in Whatman Park, Maidstone last year Picture: Sarah Knight

Diverse artists taking to the stage include the Reel Eire Irish Dance group, Lambrego Brazilian band, Kitka Bulgarian Folk Dance, Maidstone Nepalese Community Grop, Dance Asia Bollywood Fusion and Chinese lion dancers, with Bob Marley top tribute act Tanni Browne.

Headlining will be Folkin FUsion drumming collective, who merge traditional dhol drumming from north India and the Djembe drumming from southern Africa, plus some bhangra and even a bit of hip hop being thrown into the mix.

Off the stage, there will be a range of mouthwatering options, with something for every taste, from British, Indian, Greek, Spanish, Nepalese, Chinese and Thai cuisines as well as doughnuts, ice cream and hot drinks.

The Mela beings the community together Picture: Sarah Knight
The Mela beings the community together Picture: Sarah Knight

There will also be a number of information stands including the National Citizenship Service, Kent Police and Rotary, and the event will be opened by Maidstone Mayor, Cllr David Naghi and Maidstone and the Weald MP, Helen Grant.

The Mela has been made possible this year with funding through Awards for All, KCC Members Fund, Golding Homes as well as donations from members of the public.

Gurvinder Sandher, leading on the organisation of the festivities, said: “We hope that the community of Maidstone will come out and support the Mela and food festival this year.

"Lots of time and effort has gone into putting together this community celebration and we have had to overcome many challenges to get this far. The Mela is a great example of communities coming together through music, food and dance to celebrate the diverse communities of the borough and shared British values. This is an approach I feel other parts of the country can learn from.”

DETAILS

The Maidstone Community Mela and Food Festival will be on Sunday, July 22 in Whatman Park, Maidstone between 12.30pm and 6pm. For full details of the programme, visit maidstonemela.com

The Mela will be in Whatman Park, Maidstone
The Mela will be in Whatman Park, Maidstone

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