FAMILIES and friends from all walks of life joined together as Carlisle celebrated its annual Unity Festival.

The sun was shining as people enjoyed the entertainment and activities all in the name of unity.

The day started with a march round the city showing off the diversity of the people who live there.

Each year Carlisle Unity Festival gets bigger and bolder. It attracts more and more people every year and people come into the centre just to spend time with their family promoting the diversity of the city.

One of the driving forces behind the event is Aftab Khan from AWAZ, an organisation which represents black and minority ethnic (BME) people and communities in Cumbria. He said: “I think it is so beautiful that, at a time when there is so much division and polarisation going on, we are bringing the people of Carlisle together, showing the Cumbrian people and people in other countries that this is the way.

“We can get together, resolve all our differences and we have far more in common than what divides you. That is what our message is.”

Visiting families enjoyed the sun and all the different activities.

Barry Mullam, from Liverpool, was in the city centre as the festival got underway. He said: “Our family live in Carlisle so we came to visit, I think the whole event has been really good.

“To have people out and about embracing being outside through the day it great, everybody is very happy.”

There were activities for all ages, and among those attending was Anwar Shihab, eight, from Currock.

She said: “My favourite part has been getting my face painted. It has been a really fun day.”