Festival of Cultures
Foodies rejoice. This weekend brings a feast for gourmands, tantalising the taste buds and tickling the ear lobes.
The annual Festival of Cultures takes over The Square in a flurry of flavours, sounds and colours.
Opening on Friday night with the traditional Lantern Parade, the Food, Music and Culture Fair, complete with stage performers, continues on Saturday.
Destination Manawatu event organiser Renee Barbour says Saturday’s huge variety of ethnic cuisine and entertainment will be augmented on Sunday with a brilliant new event – the first ever New Zealand Food Truck Faceoff
‘‘Fourteen trucks from across the North Island, including Auckland, Wellington and some of our own Manawatu favourites, will make their way here to battle for the right to be called the ultimate New Zealand food truck.’’
The competition will cumulate in a Best Cultural Dish, judged by celebrity judge Ray McVinnie of MasterChef New Zealand fame and local celebrity food blogger Lauren Bramley.
‘‘Participants have to focus on authentic cultural food, with a mixture of styles from traditional dishes through to paleo natural ingredient-based menus.
‘‘Festival-goers will also be able to vote for the People’s Choice dish.’’
Competitors Oscar Londono and Yoana Beltran of Dos Locos Taco’s are looking forward to the competition as a way of exposing people to their Mexican culture.
‘‘The Food Truck Faceoff will give [the festival] national scope,’’ Renee says. ‘‘No-one in New Zealand has ever held an event like this.’’
The food trucks will be in The Square from 10am – 2pm with local entertainment onstage from 10.30am – 1.30pm.
The festival concludes on Sunday night in ‘Tango Alley’ – the laneway off Main St behind City Library. Welling- ton’s Latin Club Band led by Brazilian singer and world music radio dj, Alda Rezende with Scottish drummer and composer John Rae, bring an evening of Argentinian dance passion and wine from 7pm. Courtesy of the Argentinian Embassy, Massey U and City Library, all are welcome.
Renee is expecting crowds of between 10,000 and 13,000 for the full weekend of festivities.
A little touch of tango in the night from Brazilian singer and world music radio dj, Alda Rezende, lead singer for Wellington’s Latin Club Band, who will be appearing in Tango Alley for this weekend’s Festival of Cultures.