THE Mayor of Dudley is encouraging the borough to come together in celebration as the biggest-ever Black Country Festival begins.

A varied programme of community events is taking place across the region this month as part of the festival which starts on July 1 and wraps around the official Black Country Day on July 14.

Dudley Council House has been draped in Black Country flag bunting to mark the occasion as the festival celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Events lined up as part of the celebration include Stourbridge Carnival on July 7, the Dudley Grand Prix cycling event on July 12 and the two-day Black Country Musicom Festival at Himley Park, on July 13 and 14, featuring top tribute acts and a rock symphony orchestra.

There will also be the first Dudley Pride event on July 20 in Stone Street Square in Dudley Town Centre which will be headlined by RuPaul’s Drag Race UK star Baga Chipz.

For a full list of events taking place as part of the festival visit the official website

Councillor Hilary Bills, the Mayor of Dudley, said: “The Black Country Festival is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our region’s unique local culture and heritage.

“There has been a substantial funding boost for this year’s festival, which means it will be bigger and better than ever. Many of the events will also be free of charge to attend, helping more people to join in with the fun.

“I hope that our borough residents will continue to show the fantastic support that has allowed the festival to reach its tenth year. I’m looking forward to attending as many of the events as I can and joining the celebrations with you!”

The festival has been funded by the West Midlands Combined Authority through the Commonwealth Games Legacy Enhancement Fund.