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Leicester prepares for Diwali Day celebrations

Published on 17 October 2017

TENS of thousands of people are expected to take part in Leicester’s world-famous Diwali celebrations on Thursday (19 Oct).

Leicester’s Golden Mile will be bathed in light as the Diwali Day celebrations take place, with a Diwali Village on Cossington Street park, featuring a children’s funfair, food and craft stalls.

Stalls in the Diwali Village will be serving up delicious Indian food from 3pm – and from 6pm, there will be a programme of entertainment on the Diwali Village stage, presented by the Leicester Hindu Festival Council.

The spectacular Wheel of Light on Belgrave Road will be open from 12 noon until 10pm, offering great views of the Golden Mile and Diwali lights.

And illuminated boats of all sizes will be on the water at Lime Kiln Lock, just off Abbey Park Road (LE1 3WA), to mark the Diwali festivities. Visit from 6-9pm to see the waterway transformed in a blaze of light and colour.

Traditionally, fireworks have always been a big part of Diwali celebrations, and this year’s display in Leicester will start at around 8.10pm. It promises to be a spectacular aerial event, best viewed from Belgrave Road and the surrounding area.

To help people get to and from the festivities, special park-and-ride services will run from the city’s Birstall park-and-ride site (LE4 4NN).

Diwali Day services will run from the Birstall site to Abbey Park Road from 4pm until 8pm on Thursday. Return journeys will run from Abbey Park Road from 8.30pm, with the last bus leaving at 10pm.

A return trip costs just £6 for up to five people in one car, while concessionary pass holders pay £1 for a return journey.

There is also free bike and buggy parking, located next to the 110ft Wheel of Light, near Belgrave Circle. 

As part of the event and preparations, there will be a number of road closures and parking restrictions in the surrounding area. Belgrave Road will be closed in both directions between Belgrave Circle and Loughborough Road from 5pm until 9.30pm.

Melton Road will be closed to city-bound traffic from its junction with Doncaster Road from 5pm until 9.30pm.

Parking restrictions will be in place in a number of side streets off Belgrave Road from 6am until 10pm. Restricted areas will be clearly marked with ‘no waiting’ cones.

Leicester’s Diwali festivities are some of the biggest outside of India, with around 35,000 people attending the two main events – the Diwali lights' switch-on and Diwali Day itself – each year. Thousands more enjoy the dozens of other events taking place across the city during the fortnight-long festival.

For more information about Diwali Day in Leicester, go to www.visitleicester.info

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