Celebrating our Community

By Cllr Javeria Hussain, Chair of Luton Rising (September, 2021)

Luton Carnival
Cllr. Javeria Hussain

On a bright and sunny 5 September, I attended the Bangla Fest at Stockwood Athletics Park, Luton, organised by our local Bangladeshi community for our local communities to come together and celebrate the 50 years independence anniversary of Bangladesh.

As well as live entertainment and sports, there were children’s activities and a variety of stalls including a Bedfordshire Police information stall on tackling domestic violence and a NHS Covid-19 vaccination stall. Luton Rising, which owns our London Luton Airport Ltd, supported the event.  It was amazing to see how LLAL continues to be at the very heart of our town, after almost two decades of support. 

Our airport is the UK’s leading community airport. It’s our ability to positively impact Luton’s communities and transform lives through our community investment that makes us so unique.

Put simply, we’re a bridge that brings our communities together to share each other’s stories, achievements, and cultural heritage, all of which amplify Luton’s incredible diversity. This is showcased by our community festivals such as Luton Mela, Luton International Carnival and the St Patrick’s Day Parade which attract audiences from all over the world and provide opportunities for our local arts and culture sector to take centre stage.

Luton Mela began as a street festival in Bury Park, and has now morphed into an international event. Winning Best Mela awards jn 2015 and 2019, it also boasts performances from Katia Aviero, the sister of world-famous footballer Cristiano Ronaldo. The Mela also supports similar events including Ronaldo’s CR7 Madeira Fashion Show.

The Luton Carnival is the largest one-day carnival in the UK with a dazzling procession of costumes and floats, second only to the popular annual London Notting Hill Carnival.

Finally, the St Patrick’s Day Parade celebrates the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick and consists of traditional Irish bands, county organisations and local schools with exciting costumes, themes and entertainment.

Our airport is a driving force behind Luton’s cultural calendar, enabling us to celebrate and support our local communities. This is one of the many reasons why I am so proud to be Chair of Luton Rising. 

Luton Mela