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Ipswich Multicultural Festival 2017 attracts support from The Queen as organisers hope for record crowds

Last year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Last year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Global stars are preparing to bring a splash of colour to Alexandra Park this weekend with a series of vibrant live performances.

Last year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Shujma Begum and Suzan Hussein getting Henna tattoos. Picture: SEANA HUGHESLast year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Shujma Begum and Suzan Hussein getting Henna tattoos. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Record crowds are expected at this year’s One Big Multicultural Festival – and preparations are underway to make it the biggest yet.

Organised by the Bangladeshi Support Centre and backed by the Arts Council, the event – now in its seventh year – has even attracted support from The Queen.

Writing in the festival’s official programme, director of the private secretary’s office David Ryan said Her Majesty sends her best wishes to all those attending.

Acts from as far away as China, Africa and Brazil are due to perform on Sunday – and returning Portuguese vocalist Guter Narciso is tipped to be a highlight.

Last year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Chinese God of Good Fortune. Picture: SEANA HUGHESLast year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Chinese God of Good Fortune. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

Ipswich Borough Council leader David Ellesmere said he is delighted to be able to welcome visitors to Alexandra Park this weekend.

He said: “This is Ipswich’s seventh annual multicultural festival – the biggest and best yet.

“Ipswich has many communities from all over the world.

“We have a good tradition of working together for the benefit of the whole town.

Last year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: SEANA HUGHESLast year's Big Multicultural Festival in Alexandra Park. Picture: SEANA HUGHES

He added: “The activities – music, dance, sports, food – show that there is more that we have in common than divides us.”

Ipswich Malyalee Bollywood Dance Group will showcase competition-winning choreography, joining a range of other performers for an afternoon of live entertainment kicking off at noon on Sunday.

Felixstowe-based musicians Steve Rhodes and Stephanie Mackentyre round off the star-studded line-up – they will be playing a selection of crowd-pleasing songs from the 1960s and 1970s.

Food and drink from international cuisines plus a range of activities for all the family will also be on offer throughout the day. BBC Radio Suffolk presenter Wayne Bavin will be hosting this year’s event.

Organisers say everyone is invited – with guest numbers expected to top 8,000 – and are reminding visitors that all the action starts at noon and finishes at around 6pm.

For more information, call Shayra Begum on 01473 400081 or email shayra.begum@bscentre.org.uk

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