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High Commissioner Bethel Promotes Bahamian Culture in UK

BHC London photo

His Excellency Eldred Bethel along with Mayor of Maidstone Councillor Richard Thick opened the 12th annual Maidstone Mela Festival in Kent, England over the weekend.

The two day cultural festival at Mote Park attracted up to 15 thousand people. On Mote Park, festival goers enjoyed music, dance and food from around the globe. The stage programme included diverse cultural groups from steel pan musicians, to Bollywood entertainment, African dancers and Nepalese music. In addition to performances there were more than 25 stalls serving up delicacies from different countries.

High Commissioner Bethel in thanking the Mayor and the city for their warm hospitality, promoted The Bahamas’ upcoming Junkanoo Carnival.

“It is wonderful to see so many countries feature unique things about their culture at the festival. We are looking forward to having The Bahamas participate in Mela. We have the beautiful sights and sounds of our music festival called Junkanoo, it is a parade that features colourful costumes and music you can dance to. I invite you to join us in Nassau, Bahamas from May 3rd to 9th 2015 where we will be hosting our first ever Junkanoo Carnival where the world will come to have an experience of a lifetime,” said High Commissioner Bethel.

Mayor of Maidstone Councillor Richard Thick stated that he welcomed the participation of The Bahamas in the festival. “It would be great to see the culture of The Bahamas here at Mela, this is an event where people are looking for unique experiences and music from The Bahamas can very well have an impact on the festival,” said Mayor Thick.

Artistic Director of the Maidstone Mela Festival and CEO of Kent Equality Cohesion Council Gurvinder Sandler commented, “I have been working on the Mela since its inception in 2003 and this year was our biggest attendance to date. I am really proud of what we have been able to achieve and the Mela underlines how the arts can be used to bring diverse communities together and I hope we build upon this success.”

The Maidstone Mela Festival started in 2003 with its partners the Maidstone Borough Council, Cohesion Plus, Kent Equality Cohesion Council and Arts Council England.




From left to right: Mrs Dawne Bethel, His Excellency Eldred Bethel, Mr Gurvinder Sandler, Mrs Rosanne Thick and Mayor Richard Thick at the opening of Maidstone Mela festival. (Bahamas High Commission)

High Commissioner Bethel gives remarks at the Maidstone Mela Festival. (Bahamas High Commission)


Performers at the Maidstone Mela Festival. (Maidstone Mela Festival)


Performers at the Maidstone Mela Festival. (Maidstone Mela Festival)

The crowds at Maidstone Mela enjoy the festival. (Kent Messenger Group)