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Street Mela this Sunday in heart of Maidstone

Tuesday 6th September 2016

Maidstone's Street Mela comes to town on Sunday, September 11, 2016, with music, food and dance from around the world.
Maidstone has been hosting a celebration of culturally diverse music food and dance since 2003, with the sights, sounds, flavours, and traditions of the diverse local community coming together as part of the Maidstone Mela event.

For 2016, however, the event adopts smaller, more engaging look with a street mela in the heart of the town centre. The event has been organised by Maidstone Borough Council in partnership with Cohesion Plus with the support of Arts Council England. 

The street mela will feature exciting performances including the Four by Four Bhangra Dancers, Reel Eire Irish Dancers, Phase 5 Steel Band, Wolf’s Head Morris and Ronak Mela Brass Band and the Maidstone Nepalese Community Group.

They will be joined by street food from around the world, street mime artists, stilt walkers, human statues, and interactive arts workshops for young people.  In addition, Maidstone Borough Council will be running a consultation on the future direction of the Mela and other community events. The consultation will continue through to mid-October, and it will form the basis of a report to the Heritage, Culture and Leisure Committee later this year.

Gurvinder Sandher the Artistic Director of Cohesion Plus commented: “I have been involved with the Mela since its inception in 2003.  I am proud of what we have been able to achieve with the Mela in Maidstone and hope that the Mela can continue for many years to come as it’s a great way to bring all communities together and celebrate as one. I hope that the local community will come down into the town centre and enjoy the street festival we have created for this year with many exciting performers and contribute to the consultation.”

Deputy Mayor of Maidstone, Councillor Malcolm Greer, will open proceedings outside the Town Hall in Jubilee Square at 11.30am on Sunday, September 11. Following the official opening, the day’s events will begin in earnest, with a programme of performances including:

Jubilee Square

11.30am                               Opening
11.35-11.55am                   Reel Eire Irish Dancers
12-12.30pm                        Four by Four Bhangra Dancers
12.45-12.55pm                  Kitka Bulgarian Folk Dancers
1-1.30pm                             Phase 5 Steel Band
1.40-1.55pm                       Wolf’s Head Morris
2-2.30pm                             Ronak Mela Brass Band
2.45-3pm                             Maidstone Nepalese Community Group
3.20pm                                 Finish

Fremlin Walk

12.30pm                               Opening
12.35-12.55pm                  Reel Eire Irish Dancers
1-1.15pm                             Maidstone Nepalese Community Group
1.30-2pm                             Four by Four Bhangra Dancers
2.05-2.15pm                       Kitka Bulgarian Folk Dancers
2.30-3pm                             Phase 5 Steel Band
3.10-3.25pm                       Wolf’s Head Morris
3.30-4pm                             Ronak Mela Brass Band
4pm                                       Finish