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Festival of Cultures to deliver full weekend of festivities

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

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, their art and lifestyles.

The uplifting family-friendly festival runs over three days (3 - 5 March) and is strengthened by a range of pre-festival events and workshops starting from starting 22 February.

This year’s event will not disappoint. International and nationally renowned performers and groups are performing alongside many talented local cultural groups.

The Lantern Festival and Parade on Friday 3 March (from 7pm) sets the scene. 2017 is the Year of the Rooster and a newly created rooster lantern will lead the parade. Lanterns from previous years will also form in the procession along with others 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 Balkan-groove marching band from Wellington will be leading the parade through The Square. Also performing during the evening are Cuban singer and musician Rōmulo Castro and Chinese cultural performers. Food trucks will add to the atmosphere. This is a night you won’t want to miss.

Free lantern making workshops are being held prior to the event in the former Public Trust office in the Central Library building on the Square.

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 over 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 10am opening ceremony attended by embassy representatives, the event stage will deliver a wide range of cultural music and dance throughout the day. Highlights include guest performers:

Māori 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 Choro - 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!

Rōmulo 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 1 March 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 are also plenty of other entertainment, cultural food stalls and fun educational activities including Sarah ‘The Scientist’.

Check 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 workshops, guest speakers, and the Rangoli and Holi Art Competition and Festival at IPU.

The Festival of Cultures is presented by Palmerston North City Council in partnership with the Manawatu Multi-Cultural Council.

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