POLICE are urging motorists to stay away from Huddersfield town centre this weekend - unless they are going to the annual carnival or Mela.
The carnival is tomorrow afternoon and the Mela on Sunday. Many thousands of people are expected at both.
The town centre will be impassable to motorists between 1pm and 4pm tomorrow, when the carnival procession passes from the Hudawi Centre in Great Northern Street, up Trinity Street and on to Greenhead Park.
And police warned today they will be clamping down on illegally parked cars and will remove ones that block access to homes in the Greenhead Park area.
The warning follows problems experienced by residents last year, when carnival-goers left their vehicles near the park, jamming the roads.
This year, Vernon Avenue, Park Drive and Park Drive South - which were problem areas last year - will be closed off.
Disabled people can park at Greenhead. Other motorists should park in the Springwood car par or the bus station multi-storey car park and walk to the park.
The carnival celebrations start at 7pm tonight, with the Carnival Queen Show at Huddersfield Town Hall.
The best-dressed model will be chosen as the queen, to lead the carnival parade tomorrow.
Music at the town hall will be by North Stars Steel Orchestra, Pure Elegance Children's Club, The CCB Band, from Carriacou, MC Foxy and Debonair Sound System.
Admission is £5 (£4 concessions).
From noon to 8pm in Greenhad Park tomorrow there will be international food stalls, fairground rides, arts stalls and African drumming workshops.
Entertainment will be by Huddersfield dancers, DJs and bands, including Made In Huddersfield, Caribbean music group Dancing Fly, reggae group Positive Vibration, the North Stars, Congolese-style Soukous Koumbele, Turbo Charge Sound System, MC: Sylvester and the YaaAfrikan Carnival Show.
There will be a stage for young people, featuring a talent competition and artists including Connected 2, Africa For All Project and Suga Brown Dance School.
On Sunday, the Asian-based Mela festival takes over the park.
A range of live artists will perform at the free event. Birmingham band Pardesi will perform a blend of Eastern melodies and westernised beats.
Other artists will include Dhesi Vibes, Master Shakoor, Illusions, Rhythm Nations and Gubi Shandu.
From 6.30pm, at Club Non in St George's Square, a DJ club night will feature Sahara, Bobby and McIntensity, DJ Fritz, Anakhi, HQ/GOGA and Asian Flavas. It ends at 11pm and entry is £1.