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Crowds at One Big Multicultural Festival celebrate diverse communities in Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 19:41 04 September 2016 | UPDATED: 22:10 04 September 2016

Alexandra Park Ipswich on Sunday hosts the Big Multicultural Festival. entertainment and food stalls
4/9/2016

Alexandra Park Ipswich on Sunday hosts the Big Multicultural Festival. entertainment and food stalls 4/9/2016

Thousands of people turned out to celebrate the cultural diversity in Ipswich at the town’s annual One Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park.

The event, being held for the sixth time, celebrates the diverse communities in the town and this year’s event helped to reinforce the celebration after several months of difficult times for the community.

Ipswich mayor Roger Fern summed up the background to this year’s festival as he made the opening speech at the event.

He said: “Over the last few months, in the wake of the referendum result, some people have said things they should not have done – and frankly they should have known better.

“It is good that we are able to come together as a community at a great event like this – but it is also very important to recognise and celebrate our differences. There is only one Roger Fern!”

Other speakers included borough leader David Ellesmere, Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore, Felixstowe major Jan Garfield and EADT editor Terry Hunt.

The event was set up by the Ipswich and Suffolk Bangladeshi Support Centre – but its organisers and supporters come from across the community of Ipswich and Suffolk as a whole. The hosts on the stage were Terry Baxter, from Inspire Suffolk, and Stephanie Mackentyre, from BBC Radio Suffolk.

Music on the stage was equally diverse – with Indian and Bangladesh performers through to musicians with African, Portuguese, and Balkan roots. There was also music from America that fused country, Cajun and folk strands.

Sunday afternoon’s event was held in near-perfect weather and the VIP guests symbolised the message of peace by releasing white doves from the stage after the official welcoming speeches.

As well as the music, stalls, a mini funfair and a huge variety of diverse food to buy, the event also featured sports competitions and other children’s activities including circus skills.

A 57-hour weather warning for snow in Suffolk and Norfolk has said that some rural communities could be cut off.

Firefighters tacked two separate blazes in Suffolk on Saturday evening.

A 62-year-old woman reported missing to police who was believed to be in the Norfolk or Suffolk area has returned home, police have said.

The British actress Emma Chambers – known for her roles in The Vicar of Dibley and Notting Hill – has died aged 53.

Suffolk entrepreneurs are being reminded of a major networking event at which Dragons Den star Levi Roots will be offering delegates advice on how to maximise their opportunities.

Volunteers have been out for much of the weekend in the search for missing Suffolk man Paul Moore – nearly three weeks after he was reported missing.

One of East Anglia’s air ambulances caused a stir on Saturday lunchtime after it was called to land near West Suffolk College near the heart of Bury St Edmunds.

Traffic using the junction between the A14 and Nacton Road near Ransomes Europark faced serious delays on Saturday lunchtime after a crash between two vans.

A Suffolk teacher helping deprived children at an Indian “slum school” is embarking on the first recorded hike along the country’s second longest river.

Music and entertainment retailer HMV has returned to Ipswich town centre after five weeks away.

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