THE WORLD came to Dorchester in the form of food, drink and dance.

Revellers had multi-cultural fun in the sun at the annual One World Festival on Saturday- the ‘biggest and best ever’.

There was poetry, Indian head massage, African drumming and Scottish country dancing for visitors to have a go at in the Borough Gardens.

And where else could you cheer on a tug of war between Dorset Fire and Rescue Service and Dorset’s Ghurkha community?

The free event also boasted a Global Food Village where visitors could sample the delicacies of faraway lands- without stepping foot outside the county town.

Now in its sixth year, the aim of the festival is to celebrate the diversity of cultures in Dorset through music, food, dance and games.

The festival was founded by Khalique Miah to promote multiculturalism after he was the victim of a racist attack in the town.

Bangladeshi-born Mr Khalique won an award for his tireless work to bring cultures together following the attack in 2008.

One of the highlights of the day was Bollywood dance workshops, hosted by Bishan Dance.

Festival co-ordinator Sarah Reeves said although rural Dorset may not seem as multi-cultural as some inner city areas, there are people in the community from many different cultures and the event is designed to bring everyone together.

She added: “We easily had about 3,000 visitors. It was an amazing festival with activities for young and old.

“The last two years have unfortunately been a bit of a washout so it was lovely to have such a nice day.

“Moving it to the new central location of the Borough Gardens may have also helped with footfall.

“We were honoured to have such quality performances, from classical Indian and Chinese music by performers in traditional costume, to reggae and Caribbean music.

“This event is how it should be- people from all different backgrounds, young and old, with their families, sitting together and experiencing fantastic entertainment from around the world.

“There can be negativity and this event shared a really strong message about everybody living together and benefiting from it.”

The event is co-ordinated by: Steering group - Dorset Race equality council, Dorset Community Action, Volunteer Centre Dorset, Popps and volunteers from the community.