Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rockin' to the Summer Beat; Sunny Smiles in Their Thousands for Weekend of Fun

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Rockin' to the Summer Beat; Sunny Smiles in Their Thousands for Weekend of Fun

Article excerpt

Byline: LINDSEY SAMPSON

THE sun shone on a weekend of fun across Teesside, as thousands took advantage of the rare good weather to enjoy some of the events on offer.

Middlesbrough's Mela was a huge hit despite a last-minute move to Centre Square in the town after weeks of torrential rain forced it out of its usual venue of Albert Park.

The Mela, in association with Middlesbrough College, was this year celebrating its 22nd year.

The festival, a celebration of culture and diversity, featured a fabulous mix of live music and dance, delicious foods from around the world, craft and fashion stalls and games.

At the Mela for the first time was 10-year-old Phoebe Brown, of Saltburn.

She was visiting with dad Chris, 36, sister Megan, seven, Chris's partner Michaela, 33, and Michaela's daughter Gracie, five.

She said: "I had my face painted and I got my name written in Arabic - I'm going to show my classmates it when I get back to school.

"We're going on the bouncy castle later. I've enjoyed all of it and I definitely want to come back next year."

Also visiting for their first time were Jane and Michael Neasham and their two daughters, Clementine, 10 months, and two-year-old Delilah, who had travelled from Durham to join the festival.

Jane, 28, a teacher in Hartlepool, said: "It's been absolutely fantastic. There's a lot more diversity in the area than I realised. The girls really enjoyed their first proper curry and naan bread. I teach philosophy and ethics, which is a little bit like RE, and I think I'll encourage the students to come next year."

Meanwhile, Redcar was rocking with the sounds of music and laughter when a seaside festival kicked off attracting about 2,000 people.

With more than 200 performers across seven stages, the second annual Redcar Rocks! promised to be an brilliant weekend of entertainment. …

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