Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures broad­ens its ap­peal


Plans for Palmer­ston North’s Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures this year in­volve putting more cul­ture back into the fes­ti­val.

The 2016 fes­ti­val drew crit­i­cism from the city’s mul­ti­cul­tural com­mu­nity for al­low­ing com­mer­cial food trucks to crowd out smaller eth­nic of­fer­ings.

This year, or­gan­i­sa­tion has been brought back un­der the city coun­cil’s wing.

Com­mu­nity en­gage­ment man­ager Ian Lit­tle­worth said the Manawatu Mul­ti­cul­tural Coun­cil had been closely in­volved, and its spokes­woman An­gela Joblin said the in­ter­ac­tion had been a lot bet­ter this year.

While the main fes­ti­val runs over three days, March 3 to 5, the event has been strength­ened with ac­tiv­i­ties start­ing from this week.

The Lantern Pa­rade, one of the key fea­tures, will be held on March 3 from 7pm in The Square.

Gi­ant rooster and mon­key lanterns will be new at­trac­tions in this year’s pa­rade.

Lantern-mak­ing work­shops have been held in the lead up to the fes­ti­val.

The new lanterns will join past crowd favourites the dragon and the tiger, work­shop or­gan­iser Jim Richards said.

Four more lantern work­shops re­main be­fore the fes­ti­val.

The pa­rade will also fea­ture the gypsy-style mu­sic of The Kanistas, a Balkan-groove march­ing band from Welling­ton, and per­for­mances from Cuban mu­si­cian Romulo Cas­tro and Chi­nese groups, and food trucks.

March 4 is pri­mar­ily about food, start­ing with an open­ing cer- emony at­tended by var­i­ous em­bassy rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and punc­tu­ated by non-stop en­ter­tain­ment and more than 80 cul­tural food and craft stalls in the Events Quad­rant of The Square from 10am to 4pm.

March 5’s pro­gramme moves to Te Manawa and The Globe, where one of the high­lights will be the Manawatu Mul­ti­cul­tural Cen­tre’s ‘‘Multi-Clothes for Mul­tipeo­ple’’ fash­ion show and wear­able arts dis­play.

The pro­gramme picks up pace from Fe­bru­ary 25, when there is a Ran­goli Art work­shop at Youth Space ex­plor­ing the colour­ful tech­niques for in­door and out­door floor art.

Latin-Amer­i­can singer­song­writer Romulo Cas­tro will be at The Stom­ach on Wed­nes­day, March 1 for a free work­shop, and a con­cert on March 2.


A tani­wha lantern makes it’s way through the square at the 2016 lantern pa­rade.

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