VISITORS flocked to Newcastle’s Exhibition Park yesterday to sample the sights, sounds and smells of the Newcastle Mela.
The festival, which celebrates the city’s diverse Asian cultures, is now in its 18th year.
Among the attractions on offer were top Asian musicians, a fashion show and plenty of delicious food.
The Mela - which is free - attracts around 30,000 people a year.
Based around Punjabi, Pakistani, Bengali and Hindi and other South Asian cultures, it is open to anyone who wants to learn more, be entertained and meet new people as well as enjoy different music, art and food in the heart of Newcastle.
One of the acts performing this year was home-grown singer and songwriter RV Narang, who released his debut single last year and plans an album in 2012.
RV shared the bill with national and international Asian music stars, including Punjabi singer Malkit Singh MBE, Mumzy Stranger, who beat US Star Jay Sean to the Best Urban Act Award at the Asian Music Awards, and Essex-born Junai Kaiden.
But it wasn’t just music on offer - the park was also packed with stalls offering everything from luxurious saris and jewellery to home-made crafts and delicious fresh-cooked food.
There were also games, demonstrations of music and dance and a fashion show from youth project Fused Fashion during the event, which ran from noon until 6.30pm.