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Last Updated: Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 08:39 GMT 09:39 UK
Thousands head for Brick Lane Festival
Brick Lane Festival from 2002
The Brick Lane Festival lasts three weeks
About 35,000 people are expected to descend on east London for the third annual Brick Lane Festival.

This year's event is expected to be the biggest so far, in what is seen as the one of the most important cross cultural street parties in Britain.

The world famous lane, which is renowned for its Bangladeshi culture and curry houses, will host a global mix of food, history and culture over the next three weeks.

This is year also sees the launch of the two-week long Banglatown Curry Festival, which will see chefs from the sub-continent trading recipes with their London counterparts.

They will all be spilling out onto the pavements offering people their creations.

There will also be a fair for children and the chance to view the latest eastern and western fashion designs.

Notting Hill alternative

A spokesman for the organisers said: "The Brick Lane Festival is fast becoming recognised as the alternative to Notting Hill.

"The event combines the excitement and buzz of a street festival, with the relaxing atmosphere of an outdoor music concert.

Mayor of London Ken Livingstone described the event as, "One of London's most important multi cultural events with the contribution of every element - Bangladeshi, Jewish, Cockney and Afro Caribbean - viewed as an important factor in its continuing success'".

The Brick Lane Festival is a free event that runs from the 7 September. Most days begin at noon and can go on until 2130 BST.

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