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Festival of Cultures 2010


Sat 21 Mar 2009, 10:00am–5:00pm
Sat 27 Mar 2010, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: The Square, The Square, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free


Listed by: Karen Heaphy

Festival of Cultures is one of the longest standing community events in Palmerston North. This year it is promising to be bigger and better than previous years it is our City’s chance to celebrate art, culture, lifestyle and explore their connections to each other and New Zealand. The event is fully accessible to all of the community and offers free entertainment, food and arts and craft stalls in The Square from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday 27 March. The event historically has provided a range of entertainment and activities that encompass a vibrant mixture of live music by both local and national artists. The event last year attracted approximately 10,000 – 12,000 people of different ethnic origins throughout the day and the crowd varied in age from 0 - 80 years.

The Festival opens this year with a Community Cultural Lantern Parade and concert on Friday 26 March at 6.30 p.m. This Parade will follow weeks of work and workshops around the community in order to encourage the community to get behind this new initiative for the Festival. The parade will be after dark around the Square.

This will be followed the next day by the World Food, Craft and Music Fair on Saturday 27 March. 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. in The Square. Here you can enjoy all day local and national music and entertainment and cultural foods, crafts and culture. Wellington based group Rhythm African Band starring Sam Manzanza. This group have popularised tradition and modern African music throughout New Zealand. Their fast-paced blend of African rhythms, Afro beat, Ska and Hot and Spicy Music will make you want to dance! They will be followed by the trio Pacific Curls from Auckland, this is a Celtic, Maori and Pacific fusion of music. The unprecedented combination of fiddle, ukulele and Maori traditional instruments unfolds a new direction for fusion in World music. Both acts are ones not to be missed. Both national and local groups will perform on stage the local acts may include music from Thailand, India, Russia, South America, Ireland and Bali. Certainly a day not to be missed.

There is more after the Fair day to keep the Festival alive for longer. For the first time this year the Festival will run “A Taste of Culture” Cuisine Show at the Convention Centre on Sunday 28 March 10.30 – 4 p.m. There will be a variety of tastes and dishes brought to you by our local chefs and special guests Ray McVinnie and Richard Till two of New Zealand’s most popular Celebrity Chefs.

Also for the first time as part of the Festival All Saints Church will be the host to “Mosaic” – a multicultural worship service at 5 p.m. Sunday 28 March.

Again Te Manawa is participating in the Festival and is offering lunchtime cultural music entertainment from the 29 – 31 March. Also through the schools they are offering a full Educational programme for years 2 – 8. More information on this can be found on their website There is also a photography exhibition - “The Crescent Moon” showing at The City Library and depicting the Asian face of Islam in New Zealand and documenting the everyday experiences of Asian Muslims living in NZ.

The City Library will again be involved in the Festival this time with a South American evening on Friday 26 March in the evening and writer Justin Brown with his new travel book “Bowling Through India . (Date and time to be confirmed) this tells the story of a bunch of Kiwi backyard cricketers who take on the kids of India at their own game!

At The Globe Theatre there is more theatre to follow on from last year’s highly successful drama “Once Were Samoans”. This year the Festival brings you The Bone Feeder – written by playwright Renee Liang. This highly collaborative play is based on the reworking of the historical sinking of the SS Ventnor in 1902, drawing on disciplines of music, storytelling, dance, poetry and puppetry as well as theatre. Tuesday – Wednesday 30 & 31 March 2010.

Restaurants to book near Festival of Cultures 2010