One of the North East’s leading celebrations of culture and diversity comes of age this month – and everyone’s invited to the party.
Middlesbrough Mela turns 21 in 2011 and there’s an extra special event to mark the occasion over the weekend of Saturday, July 16 and Sunday, July 17.
The popular annual event has grown over that time to become the region’s biggest and best multicultural festival.
This year’s event in the beautiful setting of Albert Park promises an exhilarating mix of live music, delicious foods from around the world and craft and fashion stalls.
And to celebrate this landmark birthday, organisers are asking for people who have attended the Mela over the last 21 years to share their memories of the event.
Mela Committee Chairman Satnam Singh said: “We are proud to celebrate the 21st year of this event.
“The event has changed over that time, but has always enjoyed wonderful support from the people of the area who have attended.
“We think that they tell the real story of the Mela, and would love to hear from people about their Mela story.”
Middlesbrough Deputy Mayor Councillor Dave Budd added: “The Mela is a fantastic celebration of everything that’s great about Middlesbrough.
“The town has always been a melting pot, and this festival is a showcase for the huge depth of cultural variety that we have right on our doorstep.
“Any event that can last more than two decades is clearly a hit with the public – here’s wishing the Mela many happy returns.”
Organisers would love to build a picture of how the event has changed since it started, and need the help of members of the public.
• What is your first Mela memory, and did you attend the first event 21 years ago?
• Do you have old photos and programmes of the Mela that you could share?
To share your Mela story, write to Middlesbrough Mela, PO Box 504, Civic Centre Middlesbrough, TS1 9FY (feel free to send copies of old photos etc.), go to the 21st Birthday Celebrations page of www.boromela.co.uk, or share your story on the day of the event at the Information Point.