THE carnival spirit gripped Havant Park as hundreds embraced the message of multiculturalism.
The fourth annual multicultural festival took place under glorious sunshine on Saturday with hundreds of people, of all ages and from all backgrounds, joining together to celebrate.
Samba band The Big Noise certainly lived up to their name as they opened the event by marching through Market Parade and onto the park.
Visitors flocked to soak up the feel-good factor and enjoy music from all corners of the globe.
There were performances from Abanti Chakrabarty and Dr Ipsita Roy, Capoeira Origens do Brasil, Victory Morris, Blessed Artist and the Caribbean Lights Steel Band.
Around the park, people had the chance to sample traditional food from the Caribbean and Asia, and take part in a number of workshops aimed at celebrating the growing diversity of cultures in the area.
The event was organised by the Havant Multicultural Forum (HMF).
Anna Krawczyk, of Southsea, came with her daughter Lila and mother Irene. She said: ‘We came to see a friend who lives nearby.
‘He told us there was a community event going on in Havant – and it was fantastic!
‘It was under such wonderful weather too. All the community coming together for an event like this is important and I think people feel united about it.’
Mayor of Havant Cllr Gerald Shimbart said: ‘This weekend marks the end of the Paralympic games.
‘The Olympics and Paralympics have brought together people from all society around the world, living together in peace and harmony, which is what multiculturalism should be.’
Neide Drain, of the HMF, said: ‘It was fantastic – we have had good weather and the atmosphere was brilliant.
‘It brings the community together.
‘I’d like to thank the Big Lottery Fund for the money to help put it together, Havant Borough Council, Portsmouth City Council, and all the volunteers for their help.
‘And thank you to the big man for the weather.’