Northern Ireland news

Belfast Mela to return to Botanic Gardens in August

The Belfast Mela will be hosted by U105’s Carolyn Stewart and UTV’s Paul Reilly who are pictured in Botanic Gardens this week with ArtsEkta founder Nisha Tandon, bollywood dancer Dona Das Gupta and Noah (9), Amelia (8) and Aria (4). Picture by William Cherry/Press Eye

THE Belfast Mela is set to return to Botanic Gardens in the city following a two-year break due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers ArtsEkta said a special 'Mela Day' will take place at the south Belfast venue on August 28 when the gardens will be transformed into a wonderland of music, dance, food and art.

A week-long series of events will take place across the city to mark Northern Ireland’s largest cultural diversity festival starting with an opening Mela Carnival Parade on August 20 through the streets of Belfast and a free family day in the grounds of City Hall afterwards.

There will also be an extended schedule of daily events throughout the city in the lead up to the big finale of the Mela Day.

Nisha Tandon from ArtsEkta said: "We are absolutely delighted to announce our return to Botanic Gardens for the last Sunday in August after a break of two years due to the pandemic.

"However, the success of last year’s Mela Festival Week means this year will be our biggest ever with events taking place over eight days to celebrate our city’s growing cultural diversity like never before.

"One of the big changes for 2022 is that all tickets must be pre-booked, as we will no longer be able to accept payment at Botanic gates on the Sunday, so it’s important people buy now to avoid disappointment.

"We will be announcing more details of all the wonderful events we have planned when we have our launch in August, but for now we just want to celebrate our return to Botanic Gardens, it really has been too long."

Tickets are now on sale via www.belfastmela.org.uk

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Northern Ireland news