Preston Mela was just as successful as ever on Sunday, despite its move to the Guild Hall due to poor weather.
A decision was made earlier on in the week to move the annual celebration of South Asian culture inside the Guild Hall from its usual home on Avenham Park as a result of severe wind and rain. Organisers were quick to advertise the move, and any changes to the event, and this clearly contributed to a great turnout.
The move posed some problems for those performing or exhibiting, but although the venue might not have been suitable for some, it was definitely perfect for others. The Main Stage in the Grand Hall attracted the largest crowds, with Bollywood dancers and musicians flourishing under the spotlight and the audience happy to stay dry. They were also treated to performances by AG Dolla, Bhangra Dancers, Eternal Dhol and Apna Sangeet Band.
Downstairs in the Grand Hall Foyer, a community stage played host to a variety of local artists, including CulturalPedia and somewhereto_showoff. They set the atmosphere for visitors experiencing a range of activities, including building a Rangavalli floor mural, Patang kite making, Jaali and Rangoli artwork, Tarang music and much more. Around the Guild Hall, there were stalls and workshops for everyone, from learning to be a make up artist to children’s storytelling and traditional arts and crafts.
Gulab Singh MBE, in his final year as Chairman of Preston Mela Trust, said: “Guild 1992 was the catalyst for today’s Mela in Preston, which saw South Asian community groups and organisations across Preston come together to promote their culture and tradition. Mela is the platform in which the South Asian heritage, art, culture and civic pride for Preston and Lancashire is showcased and contributes to community cohesion and cultural diversity”.
Councillor Carl Crompton,Preston Guild Mayor, said: “This is a tremendous highlight for me as Guild Mayor in Guild year to welcome thousands of people to the extra special Mela that is taking place right here in Preston in 2012. We have such wonderful strong and diverse communities in Preston and the Mela is a celebration of all this and more”.
Check out our slideshow of photos from the Mela:
Did you attend the Mela yesterday? Let us know what you thought about it in the comments below.