What is a Mela? It’s a market with entertainment that celebrates something. Many towns and cities in Asian countries hold them, but in recent years many towns and cities with large Asian descent populations have also been holding them. Places like Oldham, Bolton, Blackburn and Salford have held events that celebrate Asian culture and other cultures in their communities. Three highly respected members of the large Hyde Bangladeshi community, Muhammed Khan, Mizanur Rahman Mizan and Muhammed Mohi Uddin Saleem, suggested such an event should and could take place in Hyde. All three used their connections in the local area, to make their suggestion a reality back in 2021. That first event was restricted by Covid considerations in mind but was still a huge success. Local councillors, businesses, entertainers and residents all came together as volunteers to make it a free occasion that attracted around 3,000 visitors. As well as fairground rides, face painters and stalls by local traders, selling a variety of artisan goods. The entertainment included drummers, singers, bands and dance groups. Many local businesses donated raffle prizes or sponsored by paying to have their logos on banners advertising the event. Outlay included insurance, security, a good PA system and advertising the event. In 2022 Hyde Mela 2 was bigger and better, attracting 6,000 free entry visitors and extra attractions. This included a Classic Car Show, a football penalty shootout and a model remote controlled tank display. Every year the event has taken place in Hyde Park on the bank holiday Sunday at the end of August, which this year falls on the 27th. All last year’s features will be back, with extra food stalls, fairground ride and face painter. Once again there will be a talented line up of local performers to entertain our guests. Stalls are limited as most have rebooked, but contact Betty Affleck on 07812 651910 Or email on elizabethaffleck@hotmail.com .

Lots of great raffle prizes have already been pledged. Contact myself Andy Richardson on 07798921288 or email caroldrew63@icloud.com if you want to donate a raffle prize and promote your business. Tameside Mayor Councillor Taf Sharif will do the formal opening at 12 noon, followed by the Martyn Hett Memorial Trophy 2023 presentation. The event begins at 11am and ends at 6pm. This is a non- alcohol, smoking or vaping event. Please support local pubs by enjoying a drink with them after the event. Children under 18 should be accompanied by an adult. Dogs welcome but must be kept on leads and their poop picked up and disposed of in a responsible manner.

Andy Richardson