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