The Golden Mile is preparing for Leicester’s annual Diwali celebrations, which will welcome more than 35,000 people to the city on Sunday.
Melton Road will be illuminated by thousands of lights, as music, dance and fireworks explode into life and mark the beginning of the Hindu Festival of Light.
Leicester’s Diwali celebrations are the biggest outside India and regularly attract worshippers and visitors from across the globe.
This year, a collection of new lighting columns, Diwali lights and decorations will be switched on at Belgrave Circle.
A group of dignitaries, including City Mayor Sir Peter Soulsby, president of Leicester Hindu Festival Council Maganbhai Patel and chair of the Diwali working group, Councillor Piara Singh Clair will flick the switch at 7.30pm.
Following the switch-on ceremony, the celebrations will move to nearby Cossington Street Recreation Ground for a firework and laser show from 8pm.
Coun Piara Singh Clair, Assistant City Mayor and chair of the Diwali working party, said: “We’re incredibly proud to host these hugely-popular celebrations which draw thousands of people to the Golden Mile every year.
“Diwali really shows Leicester at its best, and are a real treat for anyone, especially those who have never experienced the spectacle for themselves.”
There will be partial road closures in Belgrave form 11am on Sunday to allow council staff to erect a large stage near Cossington Park.
Belgrave Road will then be closed fully, between Belgrave Circle and Melton Road, from 5.30pm on Sunday, with roads due to reopen at 9.30pm.
A number of diversions will be in place.
Events Timetable for Belgrave Road and Cossington Street Recreation Ground
11am – Partial closure of Belgrave Road (may cause delays)
5.30pm – Belgrave Road closed
6pm – Switch on ceremony and stage programme begins
7.30pm – Illuminations switched on, ceremony and stage programme ends
8pm – Firework display
8.20pm – Firework display ends
9.30pm – Belgrave Road re-opens
The Diwali lights will come on at 6pm and go off at 11pm each day, apart from light switch on day and Diwali Day when they will remain on until midnight.
Look out for a picture gallery of the events on the Mercury website.
This year’s Diwali Day celebrations take place on Thursday, October 23.