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Festival of Cultures - World Food, Craft & Music Fair


Sat 22 Mar 2014, 10:00am–4:00pm

Where: The Square, The Square, Palmerston North

Restrictions: All Ages


Listed by: Karen Heaphy

This is one of the longest-standing community events in Palmerston North. This year it is promising to be as exciting and vibrant as ever. 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 a variety of mainly free entertainment, covering areas such as food, music, arts and craft, cultural talks and performances and a cultural cuisine show.

The festival will open again in 2014 with a community cultural lantern parade and concert on Friday 21 March at 6:00pm. For details of lantern parade workshops, please see Lantern Parade eventfinda page. The parade will be after dark and around the Square. This year is "The Year of The Horse".

This event will be followed the next day on Saturday 22 March by the World Food Craft and Music Fair, 10am-4pm in The Square in the centre of Palmerston North City. Here you can enjoy all day local and national music and entertainment and cultural foods, crafts and culture. Local cultural groups from our City and a few from outside will showcase and perform dancing from their country of origin. Countries include, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, China, Russia, Middle East, India, Yugoslavia, Scotland, Korea,Ireland and Japan.

Our headline band this year is the nationally acclaimed musical group Batucada Sound Machine - When musicians are curious about the sonic vocabularies of other cultures, yet have enough trust in their own instincts, then you will get the kind of ecstatic explosion of styles found in Batucada Sound Machine.

Formed in the South Pacific, with a line-up that has included Maori, Brazilian, Zimbabwean and New Zealand Pakeha players, this band brings together traditions from different parts of the planet to create something unselfconscious and new; something that defies you to stay still or silent.

Batucada is an Afro-Latin word that loosely means ‘percussion jam’, which is what this band started out as: five drummers meeting monthly in an Auckland backstreet bar for a freestyling polyrhythmic workout, taking Brazilian beats as their starting point. Over time, other musicians began to join in the sessions, bringing with them guitars, horns, voices. It’s a brew of Brazilian, Colombian, Cuban and African beats, fused with funk, reggae, hip-hop, Polynesian soul and who-knows-what-else; as kinetic and unconfined as any dance music you’ll find anywhere in the world.

Also this year for the third time in The Square and as part of the festival we will again be hosting Ray McVinnie (Judge for Masterchef NZ and writer for Cuisine Magazine, and Nici Wickes from World Kitchen. They will be joining with a few local cultural groups showcasing their own cuisine.

Markets of the Country Road will also be a feature of this years Festival of Cultures for the second year running. For more information go to

Restaurants to book near Festival of Cultures - World Food, Craft & Music Fair