THE day has finally arrived with the start of the ever-popular Party in the Park this afternoon – and this year the party will return to Ashley Cross Park this August Bank Holiday weekend with a new carnival theme.

The Daily Echo-backed event has a stellar line up, which starts with the international DJs Norman Jay MBE and Jazzie B OBE and Rowetta from Happy Mondays.

In addition there will be local bands performing, including winners of Europe’s best reggae band.

The two-day event and after parties will also be broadcast live on The Organisers have also included the best of the local club nights, including Bump N Hustle, purveyors of soulful grooves since 1992, Bar So, and Shake, who recently celebrated their fifth birthday and have a huge following.

There is also The Random Acts Club VIP enclosure with access all areas for £20 per day, including glass of bubbly, or £36 for weekend ticket.

Event organiser Jane Jones said: “I am so thrilled with the way ticket sales are going and with such a fantastic line up we are expecting the event to be the biggest and best yet!”

The event starts from 12pm today and Sunday, August 24. An exclusive after party will also be taking place with Jazzie B at The Brit tonight and Norman Jay at The Winchester on Sunday night.

Tickets can be bought online or from Patricks, Mambo, The Dancing Moose, The Brit pub.