Acelebration of city’s cultural diversity
Anticipation is high for Palmerston North’s most vibrant and colourful event – the 2017 Festival of Cultures. It’s the city’s celebration of our diverse cultures, art and lifestyles.
The uplifting family-friendly festival runs over three days (March 3 to 5) and is strengthened by a range of pre-festival events and workshops.
This year’s event will not disappoint. International and nationally renowned performers and groups are performing alongside many talented local cultural groups.
Friday night’s Lantern Festival and Parade on Friday, March 3, (from 7pm) sets the scene. As 2017 is the Year of the Rooster this newly-created lantern will lead the parade. Lanterns from previous years will also feature in the procession along with lanterns made by the public.
As well as the dazzling sight of the many hand-crafted lanterns, there will be some uplifting musical performances. The gypsy-style sounds of The Kanistas, a Balkangroove marching band from Wellington, will lead the parade through The Square. Also performing during the evening are Cuban singer and musician Romulo Castro and Chinese cultural performers. Food trucks will add to the atmosphere.
Free lantern making workshops are being held prior to the event in the former Public Trust office in the Central Library building.
Saturday is the busiest day of the festival with the World Food, Craft and Music Fair (10am – 4pm). The Square’s Event Quadrant will be filled with more than 80 authentic cultural food and craft stalls. This will be a day to send your taste buds on an international adventure and to perhaps try something new.
After the opening ceremony, which is attended by a number of embassies, the event stage will deliver a wide range of cultural music and dance throughout the day.
Highlights include guest performers:
Maori musician Matiu ’The Hook’ Te Huki, who is known for his amazing vocal skills and energy, his ability to powerfully connect with and lift a crowd with his mesmerising stage presence while fronting great bands or with his solid solo looping show.
Clube de Coro – Bryn van Vliet Choro is an older style of music born in Brazil which later gave birth to the more popular Samba. Clube do Choro has a set full of musical masterpieces from some of Brazil’s finest songwriters, lively and energetic party starters and soulful yet groovy. They are sure to have you up dancing!
Romulo Castro - brings a taste of Latin American music to the festival. Castro is a prominent Latin American artist, and with his Grammy award-winning band Tuira has performed throughout Latin America, the United States, Spain, Israel and Algeria. He is also hosting a workshop on March 1 at The Stomach and performing in concert on March 2 at the same venue
Sunday, is Ngahau Te Manawa: Fiesta Time and the festivities move to the cultural hub of Palmerston North. Te Manawa and The Globe Theatre are hosting festivities from 11am – 3pm. Highlights include the Manawatu Multicultural Centre’s Multi-clothes for Multi-people fashion show and wearable arts. Performances at The Globe include the Te Rerenga Puppet Show and the Gamelan Padhang Moncar concert and workshop. There is also plenty of other entertainment, food and fun educational activities including Sarah ’The Scientist’.
Check festivalofcultures.co.nz and the Festival of Cultures Facebook page for details of the festival and the many pre-festival events and workshops. These include music, dance, art and lantern-making workshops, guest speakers and the Rangoli and Holi Art competition and Festival at IPU.
The Square will be full of festive cultural celebrations with food, music, dance and activities for the World Food, Craft and Music Fair.