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Middlesbrough Mela expecting record-breaking crowds

One of the region's best multi-cultural festivals continues today.

The Middlesbrough Mela is taking place all weekend with music, food and entertainment.

It's in its 26th year and last year attracted 50,000 people over two days.

"Mela 2016 will be a fantastic celebration of multicultural music, food, fashion and art. It's one of the best celebrations of culture and diversity anywhere in the UK, and a true symbol of Middlesbrough's community spirit."

– Satnam Singh, Mela chairman

Crowds expected for Newcastle Mela

15,000 people are expected in Newcastle's Exhibition Park for the annual Mela.

The festival is based around a variety of South Asian cultures and has become an established date on the Tyneside calendar. It includes music, dance, stalls and food.

The Mela is taking place between 12 noon and 7:30pm.

Last year's Mela Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees


The sights and sounds of Middlesbrough Mela

If you cannot make it to Middlesbrough today, here is a little taster of some of the sights and sounds. Sadly we cannot bring you the smell of the delicious foods that are on offer. See more on ITV Tyne Tees at 6pm Saturday.

Middlesbrough Mela off to colourful start

Middlesbrough Mela parade. Credit: ITV News

Thousands of people have gathered to celebrate the 25th Middlesbrough Mela.

The event aims to bring together all communities from across the town in a celebration of international cultures, food and fashion.

This year's show features performances from local dance schools, a huge range of food stalls as well as sporting events and fairground rides.

The two-day Mela will also feature Stockton's X Factor contestant Kerrianne Covell tonight, and other high profile performers tomorrow.

Organisers say they expect a record breaking 50,000 visitors to this year's Mela which will end tomorrow night with a grande finale.

Middlesbrough Mela in full-swing

Middlesbrough Mela in Centre Square. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The annual Middlesbrough Mela is underway in the town's Centre Square. The event is one of the region's biggest celebrations of culture and diversity. The festival attracts huge crowds who enjoy a mix of live music, foods from around the world and craft and fashion stalls.

Heavy rain led to last year's event moving to Centre Square from its current home in Albert Park. The organising committee has now taken the decision to make the move permanent. Centre Square proved popular with both stallholders and the public, and sees Mela return to its original 1990 home.

Organisers are hoping to attract up to 40,000 people over the weekend. The event has been running for more than 20 years.