SOUTHAMPTON’S biggest free family festival returned to the city yesterday.

Hundreds of community members descended on one of the city’s parks as colour, music and food kept visitors entertained.

The Southampton Mela Festival, which attracts up to 30,000 people each summer, was back at Hoglands Park.

Organisers from Art Asia delivered a fusion of music, dance and family activities, all of an international flavour.

The festival was the swansong of culture chief Vinod Desai MBE, who competed alongside TV presenter Dhruv Gadhvi before he steps down from Art Asia after 36 years at the helm.

Stilt walkers, elite circus performers from Rajasthan Circus Raj and jugglers entertained visitors around the site.

Visitors enjoyed Rangoli with Caroline Rackham, as well as music from The Old Thumper Jazzband and a spot of water Zorbing.

The Mela’s bustling food court also tickled the taste buds, offering dishes from all corners of the globe.

The festival has built a reputation as a great family day out with plenty of entertainment and activities for all ages and is one of the highlights in the city’s summer calendar.