Record num­bers at fes­ti­val

The Tribune (NZ) - - FRONT PAGE -

Thou­sands of peo­ple savoured culi­nary de­lights and cel­e­brated cul­tural di­ver­sity with mu­sic and danc­ing in Palmer­ston North.

The Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures was held dur­ing the past week, start­ing with the lan­tern pa­rade on March 17 and end­ing on Satur­day with the world food, mu­sic and craft fair.

Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil com­mu­nity en­gage­ment man­ager Ian Lit­tle­worth said thou­sands of peo­ple soaked up the cel­e­bra­tion of Palmer­ston North’s cul­tural di­ver­sity.

Or­gan­is­ers were happy with the turnout to events and ap­pre­ci­ated the in­put from the many com­mu­ni­ties who set up stalls sell­ing eth­nic food, and pro­vided colour­ful and cre­ative mu­si­cal and dance per­for­mances and ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘‘Wit­ness­ing the huge num­ber of peo­ple and in par­tic­u­lar fam­i­lies out in The Square and in our cul­tural hub en­joy­ing the cel­e­bra­tions made all the months of plan­ning and prepa­ra­tion for the fes­ti­val all worth­while,’’ Lit­tle­worth said.

‘‘There was much cel­e­bra­tion and a gen­uine in­ter­est in and ap­pre­ci­a­tion of dif­fer­ent cul­tures and tra­di­tions. The crowd were fes­tive, pos­i­tive and re­spon­sive and we are de­lighted with the feed­back. It truly was a great com­mu­nity event.’’

The lan­tern pa­rade had the high­est at­ten­dance yet and boasted a strong lineup of mu­sic and en­ter­tain­ment.

The fair on Satur­day at­tracted a crowd es­ti­mated to be more than 10,000, who en­joyed en­ter­tain­ment from cul­tural per­form­ers and eth­nic food op­tions from more than 100 stalls.

‘‘Stall­hold­ers re­ported it was the busiest fes­ti­val ever with record num­bers of visi­tors,’’ Lit­tle­worth said.

Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil funded and or­gan­ised the event in as­so­ci­a­tion with the Manawatu¯ Mul­ti­cul­tural Coun­cil.

The event has been run­ning since the late 1990s.

PHOTO: WAR­WICK SMITH/STUFF

A mixed seafood and meat Span­ish paella at the Fes­ti­val of Cul­tures.

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