WARRINGTON Mela is still planned to go ahead in July, organisers have confirmed.

The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in many events being cancelled but Warrington Ethnic Communities Association (WECA) hopes its annual festival will take place at Queen’s Gardens in the town centre on July 5.

Mo Hussain, secretary of WECA, said: “We are still hoping the Mela can go ahead and are currently planning for it.

“Obviously, in these difficult times it is quite difficult to predict what could be ahead.

“However, hopefully this event, which showcases cultural diversity, will go ahead and cheer everyone up after the lockdown and other measures, helping us get back to normality.

“In a worst case scenario, if it can’t, then we will obviously reschedule it for a later date.”

Mr Hussain also confirmed last Friday’s scheduled Kurdish new year celebration at Bank Park was cancelled amid the coronavirus outbreak.

He added: “It was quite upsetting for the Kurdish community but public health is the most important thing and the community acknowledged that.”

The Mela is supported by Labour-run Warrington Borough Council, with last year’s event seeing more than 2,000 people attend.

Entertainment included the talented Desi Nach, Rhythm of Warrington and Miz Diva, while food, henna and clothing stalls also featured.

Cllr Tony Higgins, the council’s cabinet member for leisure and community, has also released a statement on the current situation.

He said: “Warrington Mela is one of our biggest community events, attracting hundreds of local residents and many more from outside the borough.

“We need to keep hope that the current situation improves sooner than anticipated but we also need to be realistic that such large events need to be postponed or cancelled.

“Whatever happens, the next Warrington Mela will be bigger and better than ever and that is definitely something to look forward to.”