Heavy rain and strong winds failed to dampen the enthusiasm of hundreds of people who turned out to celebrate Positive Bradford Day in Centenary Square.

The day, aimed at celebrating all that is good about the city, started with a parade of schoolchildren, dancers, emergency service workers and entertainers, who cheered as they wound their way through City Park.

The event, which was forced to wrap up early due to the weather, also included 45 market stalls, a food marquee and live entertainment from school choirs, street dance artists, dohl drummers and bollywood dancers.

Jane Vincent, a co-founder of Positive Bradford, a not-for-profit voluntary group, said organisers were advised to close the event early on health and safety grounds as the strong winds threatened the stability of stalls and tents.

An indoor event would be held within the next few weeks for groups unable to perform, she said.

Miss Vincent added: “Despite the rain, the morale of the people in marquees has been brilliant. I have been wandering around and everyone’s been happy and smiling. People have made connections with each other and I’m really people have still come down and got involved.

“We have already been talking about what we are going to do next year.

“The wet weather has not put us off.”

Make Bradford British stars Rashid Mahmood Khan and Damon Scully, who have been working on social cohesion projects in the city, took part in a question and answer session with Year Seven pupils at Laisterdyke Business and Enterprise College.

Speaking afterwards Rashid said: “Positive Bradford gets people together from different cultures.

“The weather’s not as we want it but the event is bringing us together so we can live together in our communities.”

One of the day’s highlights was the unveiling of a giant vegetable samosa, weighing 115kg, which set a new world record.

The supersized starter was prepared by a team at Bradford’s International Food Academy, which included Bobby Patel, operations director at Prashad restaurant, Mohammed Rafiq, of Kipling’s restaurant, and Colin Burt, chef trainer at Bradford College.

The samosa was carried on a specially created ‘samosa settee’ before being weighed before a crowd in Centenary Square.

Mr Patel said: “It’s all part of the positive feel for Bradford. Last year l Continued on facing page l Continued from previous page we broke the record for the largest onion bhaji and we thought we would keep the momentum going and help Bradford celebrate.”

Also at the event were representatives from several charitable groups working in the city, including Bradford Refugee Forum, Bradford Street Angels and Bradford Nightstop.

Will Sutcliffe, of Bradford City of Sanctuary, which was providing free food to visitors, said: “We have served more than 200 hot meals cooked by members of the refugee community.

“There have been lots of good contacts made and we have been able to refer people to specific projects. There’s a homeless person who will have a bed tonight. We have met people we would not usually encounter.”